Five jailed for 100 years after ‘honeytrap’ killing a dad at Hertfordshire home

man, killed, police, bushey, Vishal Gohel

Five jailed for 100 years after ‘honeytrap’ killing a dad at Hertfordshire home

The victim, described as a cherished father, fell victim to a distressing “honeytrap” scheme that led to his brutal murder.

Expecting to engage in a sexual encounter with three women, Gohel was instead subjected to being gagged and assaulted when male accomplices arrived to rob him in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

Yarley Georgia Bruce-Annan, Tevin Leslie, Sakeen Gordon, Brandon Browne, and Faith Hoppie were all sentenced for their roles in the crime.

Authorities, including prosecutors and law enforcement, characterized Mr. Gohel as a target of a premeditated “honeytrap.”

During the trial at St Albans Crown Court, two men were convicted of murder while another man and woman received sentences for manslaughter.

Evidence presented in court revealed that the victim had been in communication with Bruce-Annan via Craig’s List, an online marketplace, the day prior to the incident.

Tevin Leslie, Yarley Georgia Bruce-Annan and Sakeen Gordon ( Image: Hertfordshire Constabulary)

Yarley Georgia Bruce-Annan, Tevin Leslie, Sakeen Gordon, Brandon Browne and Faith Hoppie have been jailed for more than 100 years.

The female defendants took a taxi from Barking to Bushey, arriving at 1:00 AM and paying £42.75 for the fare. The men arrived at the scene in Tevin Leslie’s Audi at 2:15 AM, having picked up Browne in Bromley and then driving on to Ealing to pick up Gordon, his cousin.

Police put up a forensics tent as murder investigation is launched

On the morning of Sunday, January 23 of the previous year, a neighbour noticed Gohel’s front door ajar and the kitchen light switched on. Upon returning to the flats in Bushey and finding the door still open, the neighbour investigated further, discovering Mr. Gohel lifeless on the bedroom floor. Ms Newell said: “It was the culmination of a plan that had been brewing throughout the day.”

Tragically, the victim’s face had been bound with gaffer tape, and a post-mortem examination indicated significant head injuries caused by one or more severe blows. Resulting in brain damage and his voice box had been fractured, consistent with being strangled. 

Charlotte Newell KC, prosecuting, said: “Both sides of his face were injured. There was internal bruising to his scalp, eyes and jaw. There was brain damage and his voice box had been fractured, consistent with squeezing of the neck… He was ambushed in a group attack in his own home.”

Sakeen Gordon, 22, from Uxbridge Road,  Ealing, west London, was convicted of murder by an 10 to one majority and conspiracy to rob. He was jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years.

Tevin Leslie, 23, from Brixton, London, was convicted of murder and conspiracy to rob. Has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 26 years.

Georgia Bruce-Annan, from Barking, east London, was convicted of murder and had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob. She was jailed for life with a minimum term of 26 years.

Brandon Browne, 23, of Rochester, Kent was found not guilty of murder, but convicted of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob and was sentenced to 15 years.

Faith Hoppie, 22, of Barking, was found not guilty of murder, but convicted of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob. She was sentenced to eight years. A third woman defendant had been cleared of all charges.

Brandon Browne and Faith Hoppie were convicted of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob ( Image: HERTFORDSHIRE CONSTABULARY)

The prosecutor said he had been seen on CCTV wearing the iWatch. This was missing when his body was found. She said the watch, the £200 cash and his iPhone were stolen.

“No attempts had been made to contact the emergency services, but there had been efforts had been made to clean the flat. He was dead or dying when they left the flat. There was no attempt to provide assistance to him,” said the prosecutor.

In a victim impact statement, which she read to the court, the victim’s aunt Bonny Rigby Williams described her nephew as “ charming intelligent handsome and driven.”

She said: “He had a wicked sense of humour who would bring us to side-aching laughter with his impressions and story-telling.”

Addressing the defendants, she said: “It was painful to see the total lack of remorse shown by anyone of you. You were the last things he saw as he begged for his life. We are appalled by casual way the crime was committed”

Jailing them, Judge Richard Foster said: “The facts of this case are as tragic as they are sordid. What began as a sordid little enterprise ended up as a tragedy.”

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit (MCU), said: “I am pleased that justice has been done and these evil individuals have been convicted of this brutal killing. My thoughts remain with the family and friends of Mr Gohel, who miss his presence in their lives every day. I hope the guilty verdicts give them some peace at least.

“We quickly found evidence of a honeytrap where the women had gained access on the promise of sexual liaisons that never happened. Should we take this out for the family? They then let their male accomplices in to steal property,” explained DI Jenkins. “But this wasn’t just a robbery. Mr Gohel, who had visited a local cashpoint and shop earlier that night, was brutally killed.

“He must have been terrified and would undoubtedly have suffered during the brutal attack that killed him. No attempt was made to phone an ambulance.”

Mr Gohel’s family paid tribute to him saying:“Our beloved son Vishal was just 44 years old when he was brutally murdered. He was in the prime of his life.

“He was a father and best friend to his two wonderful boys. He was also a son, grandson, brother and friend. He was a wonderful father and the damage caused to his young boys by this heinous crime is indescribable.

“We are a very close and joyful family. We did everything together. Vishal was an integral part of our family. Now we have been pitched in a deep pit of grief, doubt and fear.

“No matter how many years these criminals spend in prison, nothing will make up for our loss, but we are heartened to know that our justice system works.

“We hope this will be an example to other young people that crime never pays. That the only way to achieve your dreams is through hard work, diligence and perseverance just as our beloved Vishal did.

“We are immensely grateful for the incredible work of all the police departments, specifically the Major Crime Unit for all they have done. Their investigation of the crime led to swift arrests of the criminals.

“The support we have received from the police has been amazing and we could not have gone through this nightmare without their help and support at every stage. We are eternally grateful. Thank you.”

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