LIKE millions of other young people, Shaun Rossington used the internet to while away the hours chatting to friends.
As he logged onto his Facebook profile on the evening of June 2 last year, it is likely he expected to do little more than catch up on his social life.
He could never have predicted that a conversation he was about to have would ultimately lead to his death.
Shaun, 21, pictured below, entered into an online chat with a 13-year-old girl, who was using a computer at Nicolas Shelbourne’s flat
It was later claimed in court that during the chat, she had offered him a sexual favour in return for money and cigarettes.
The conversation got the attention of Shelbourne, 27, as well as his friends Daryll Jones, 17, Jordan O’Rourke, 17, Mark Jackson, 21 and another 17-year-old girl, who cannot be named.
The young girl arranged to meet Shaun and the others decided to accompany her.
In the early hours of June 3, Shaun met the teenager on grassland off Searby Road, Lincoln.
Moments later, he came face to face with the other five people.
Terrified Shaun gave them cigarettes, but told them he had no money. What followed was a vicious attack that began with a blow to the head with a glass bottle and took him to the ground.
He was then savagely beaten as he lay on the grass, pleading for mercy.
After the attack, Shaun was left with more than 41 separate injuries. During the ten-week trial, Jones was described as having “danced” on Shaun’s head.
It was also claimed he had taken a knife to Shaun’s back.
At one stage, Shelbourne and Jackson picked up Shaun off the ground. He begged them to stop hurting him and asked them to take him home.
But Shelbourne refused, saying it would then be obvious he had been attacked.
As they were holding him up, Jones was said to have knocked him to the ground again before continuing the attack.
The group then walked away, smoking his cigarettes and leaving him for dead.
Later on, passer-by Leslie Sampher came across Shaun’s prone body and shook him, asking if he was OK. He noticed Shaun did not have any shoes on and assumed he may have been drinking.
He could not have known then that Shaun’s trainers had been thrown into the road with the intention of making it look like a hit-and-run road accident.
He tried to rouse the 21-year-old a second time, but could not.
Meanwhile, the group returned to Shelbourne’s flat, where they began to concoct their cover story.
Jones bleached his trainers and his bloodied clothes were bagged up and dumped.
O’Rouke, Jackson, the 17-year-old girl and the 13-year-old returned to the field at about 4am, where they found Shaun dead.
The 17-year-old girl, who was later convicted of manslaughter, called 999.
She told police they had found the body and were interviewed as witnesses.
But after leaving the police station, Jones went into the City Square area of Lincoln, where he described what he had done to several people.
Over the next 48 hours, he told more people he had been involved in killing someone and even sent a text message saying “I could be getting done for murder”.
Meanwhile, after meeting the group and taking witness statements, police found that the 17-year-old girl’s phone number was in Shaun’s phone and put her at the scene.
And those who had been on the end of Jones’s casual admissions came forward to give statements.
Seven people were arrested on suspicion of murder on Saturday, June 5, and taken to separate police stations to be interviewed.
Some lied about what had happened and at first they explained their presence at the Ermine shops, as seen on CCTV, as a trip to get cash for a pizza. This was because they knew they would be on CCTV, as they knew the area well.
Forensic investigators then found that trainers seized from members of the group matched footprints that had caused marks on Shaun’s forehead.
While on remand in a young offenders’ centre, Jones told his mum in a phone call: “I’m going to plea bargain it to manslaughter and say I was drunk, we all ended up fighting, we all hit him.”
It was later determined that Shaun had died from a lack of oxygen, having been so badly beaten he was unable to raise his head up to breathe.
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