Billy Henham was 'beaten unconscious, stripped naked and thrown off balcony on ...

Billy Henham was 'beaten unconscious, stripped naked and thrown off balcony on ...
Billy Henham was 'beaten unconscious, stripped naked and thrown off balcony on ...

A student was beaten unconscious before his killers stripped him naked, covered him in bleach and threw him off a balcony during a New Years' Eve party at an abandoned building in Brighton, a court has heard.

Billy Henham, 24, was subjected to 'a sustained and significant' assault in the disused building in the early hours of January 1, 2020. 

His battered, lifeless body was discovered by police the following day on a recess area of a roof terrace at the former office block in the city.

Gregory Hawley, 28, Lamech Gordon-Carew, 20, Dushane Meikle, 27, and 18-year-old Alize Spence are on trial accused of his murder and have all four pleaded not guilty.

Jurors heard today how Hawley, described as 'in charge of the squat', was laughing and joking about the attack and allegedly confessed to stripping Billy's body and dousing him in bleach before throwing him out of a window.

A witness, who described the room where Billy was attacked as 'a torture chamber', told the court Hawley claimed he had to 'clean up because someone got seriously hurt' and that he said: 'We had to finish him off because he heard my name.'

Billy Henham

The student was found dead in January 2020

Billy Henham (left and right), from Henfield, West Sussex, was beaten unconscious, stripped naked and thrown out of a window at an abandoned building, Maidstone Crown Court heard

Mr Henham, 24, was seen 'singing, dancing and smiling' at a nightclub in the city hours before the fatal attack at the disused building.

Maidstone Crown Court was told he had suffered 11 rib fractures, extensive bruising to his scalp, face, and neck, cuts and a brain injury. All were consistent with being punched, kicked and stamped on.

Mr Henham, who lived with his parents in Henfield, West Sussex, and who prosecutors say could have been alive for up to an hour after the incident, had also been struck with a broken wooden stair spindle.

Two deleted photos of his body - one partially clothed and one naked - were later found on Meikle's phone.

A jury heard Mr Henham, who was studying at Ravensbourne University in south east London, had spent Christmas with his family but wanted to see in the New Year in a 'lively atmosphere'.

Pictured Billy was described by his family as 'gentle, kind and peaceful'

Pictured Billy was described by his family as 'gentle, kind and peaceful'

Having been to a nightclub and then an off-licence, he ended up at the party in the disused building in North Street sometime after 4.30am on January 1, but was dead within a few hours, Maidstone Crown Court, Kent, was told.

One of those squatting in the four-storey building in North Street at the time was Phillip Mallia.

Giving evidence at the trial on Friday, he recalled hearing screams from 'someone in pain' from inside a room before the door opened and he was told by a man to 'F*** off'.

Mr Mallia, 28, described how a few hours later he saw Hawley, said to have been in charge of the squat, with the bleach bottle and cloth just a few feet from the same room.

'Gregory said "I've got to clean up some blood because someone got seriously hurt last night".

'He was on his way to the torture chamber, the room where I heard the screaming,' said Mr Mallia.

Referring to a second conversation about an hour later, Mr Mallia said he and his partner were told by Hawley that he had been involved in a killing, and how he had then described the efforts made to destroy any forensic evidence.

'Gregory said we couldn't stay there. I said "Why?" and he said "We killed someone last night".

Pictured: Officers on scene after Mr Henham was found dead at the building in Brighton

Pictured: Officers on scene after Mr

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