Tom Bell murder trial: Two men sentenced to 50 years behind bars over boxer’s death

Two men have been sentenced to a total of 50 years behind bars over the death of a popular boxer who was shot dead in a Doncaster pub.

Thursday, 15th August 2019, 18:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th August 2019, 19:54 pm

Tom Bell, aged 21, was gunned down at the Maple Tree pub in Balby on January 17 this year.

Scott Gocoul, 28, of no fixed abode, was today found guilty of murder today and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 33 years.

Scott Gocoul and Jospeh Bennia.

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Joseph Bennia, 30, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 17 years.

Both men had denied killing Mr Bell, who was shot twice when a gun was fired through the window of the family pub.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Lavender said the pairs actions had deprived Tom’s family of a much-loved son and brother.

He said Scott Gocoul had a long standing desire for revenge arising out things Tom Bell had done or he believed he had done in 2016.

Floral tributes outside the Maple Tree, Balby where Tom Bell died on January 17. Picture: Marie Caley

He said: “I am sure that you were the one who fired the shotgun and that you intended to kill.”

Of Joseph Bennia, the judge said he went along ‘at the drop of a hat’ with his drug dealing partner’s plan to ‘blast’ Tom Bell.

He said: “There was a high degree of planning involved and I am satisfied you intended to cause really serious bodily harm.”

Earlier, Tom’s mum Tracy Langley said words could not describe the devastation left behind as a result of his murder.

Tom Bell.

She said: “His family and friends have been torn to pieces. When Tom was killed I was killed as well. He lives on a legend and he never gave up fighting.”

And Tom’s dad Tony said: “My precious son had been taken away from all of us and we will never see him, hold him or kiss him again. We as a family are broken but he will live on in all of us forever.”

Earlier in the trial, the court heard that one of the defendants waited in a stolen car yards away from the pub while the other one carried out the fatal shooting.

He was shot in front of an estimated 60-70 witnesses, many of whom had been at the pub for a weekly quiz that had been due to start a short time later.

After gasping his last words, ‘Is it bad?,’ prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC told the jury that Tom collapsed by the bar seconds later and never regained consciousness.