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Four guilty of shopkeeper murder
Four men have been found guilty of murdering a shopkeeper who was brutally stabbed at his store in a robbery witnessed by his children.
Twins Ian and John Meenan, Anthony Bayliss and his brother Liam Ryan were all convicted of killing father-of-four Suppiah Tharmaseelan following a month-long trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
A fifth man, James Moore, was cleared of murdering the 48-year-old shop owner, whose children saw him being attacked via a CCTV system installed at his shop in Kingstanding, Birmingham.
Jurors deliberated for four days before returning unanimous guilty verdicts against the Meenans, who are aged 27 and both of whom lived in the Erdington area of Birmingham.
Bayliss, 25, and his brother Liam Ryan, 19, both of Gretton Road, Erdington, were found guilty by 10-2 majority verdicts.
Mr Justice Wyn Williams adjourned sentence on the four killers, who all face a mandatory life term, to a date to be fixed. Moore, 25, of Twickenham Road, Kingstanding, admitted a charge of robbery before the trial and will also be sentenced later.
Following the verdicts, it emerged that one of the victim's children telephoned the police after they witnessed the attack via CCTV in another part of the shop premises.
The opening of the trial was shown CCTV footage of the robbery, during which Mr Tharmaseelan was badly beaten and repeatedly stabbed as cigarettes were taken from behind the counter.
In a victim impact statement read to the court by prosecutor Timothy Mousley QC, Mr Tharmaseelan's wife Sangeetha said she was visiting relatives in France when her husband, who bled to death, was murdered at his workplace on November 27 last year.
The grieving mother, whose children are aged between four and 14, added: "My husband was a hard-working man who had good business and money skills. He lived for a better life and worked long hours to support the family. The opportunity to run his own business filled him with joy."