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Teenagers sentenced to life in prison for Ipswich murder of Raymond James Quigley

Two teenagers have been sentenced to more than 20 years each in prison for the murder of an 18-year-old in a Suffolk town centre.

Alfie Hammett and Joshua Howell, both 19, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court today where they were handed the life sentences after they killed Raymond James Quigley – known as James – on January 17, 2023, in Westgate Street, Ipswich, at 3.35pm.

Hammett, of Larkhill Rise, Rushmere St Andrew, was jailed for 24 years, while Howell, of Wellington Street, Ipswich, was given 20 years.

Joshua Howell. Picture: Suffolk Police
Joshua Howell. Picture: Suffolk Police

They were found guilty of murder on Friday, January 26 after a trial lasting more than five weeks.

The teenagers were also found guilty of being in possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and Howell was further convicted of threatening another person with a blade.

The court heard the motive for the attack was likely due to rival gang tensions in Norwich as James had an association with a gang called ‘OTM’ – standing for ‘Only The Money’.

Alfie Hammett. Picture: Suffolk Police
Alfie Hammett. Picture: Suffolk Police

Hammett and James were known to each other and Hammett, who previously lived in Norwich, was associated with a rival gang called ‘3rdside’.

Howell also had links to a Nacton gang in Ipswich known as ‘IP3’ which had formed an alliance with ‘3rdside’.

Mobile phone analysis discovered a series of phone calls had been made before the attack between two individuals – one associated with ‘3rdside’ and the other with ‘IP3’.

James travelled to Ipswich from his home in Wymondham, Norfolk, to meet two friends and he was walking in the town centre when he encountered Hammett and Howell.

Raymond James Quigley. Photo: Suffolk Constabulary
Raymond James Quigley. Photo: Suffolk Constabulary

They were wearing face masks, had their hoods up and were both carrying large knives.

Hammett ran directly towards James and attacked him while Howell chased after one of James’ friends with a machete before they managed to escape to safety in a nearby shop.

Howell then ran up Providence Street towards Tower Ramparts while Hammett ran off in the opposite direction across Cornhill after stabbing the victim multiple times.

James staggered across the road before collapsing in a shop and despite best efforts from the public and medical personnel, he died at the scene.

A Home Office post-mortem showed he suffered four stab wounds to the torso with two wounds to the chest and abdomen proving to be fatal.

Detective Chief Inspector Tam Burgess said: “This was an horrific and completely senseless act of extreme violence that has resulted in the death of an 18-year-old man who had his whole life ahead of him.

“I want to pay tribute to James’ family for their dignity and perseverance throughout this investigation and more latterly the trial, which has been an incredibly difficult process for them.

“I am still staggered by the brazen way in which Hammett and Howell committed this heinous crime in such a public place, with numerous members of the public around and in full view of CCTV cameras.

“James Quigley was simply walking through town with his friends, when he was subjected to this unprovoked attack and without any opportunity to defend himself. He stood no chance.

“And the motivation? Although they are never likely to tell us themselves, everything points to it being down to gang rivalry.

“Carrying knives is not the answer to anything. It devastates peoples’ lives, not just those of the victims, but their family and friends and also the families of the attackers.”