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Two women and four men have been convicted of murder on Monday by the Carlisle Crown Court in Cumbria, for the brutal death of 26-year-old Lee McKnight on July 2020. All six of the accused were found guilty and have been remanded in custody by Justice Hilliard with a sentencing date to be arranged at a later date.

According to the BBC, McKnight was lured to the house of his one-time lover Coral Edgar, and was beaten to the point of death. His body was dumped in the River Caldew.

During the hearing, it was heard that the victim was a drug dealer that owed a large debt to one of the accused, Jamie Davison. Davison, who ran a half-a-million pound narcotics empire, used Coral Edgar to lure McKnight on the pretext of a sexual tryst at her home. Upon arriving at Edgar’s home, McKnight was subjected to a two-hour beating by his assailants who punched, kicked, stamped on, beat and whipped him with a diamanté-headed riding crop in the living room and kitchen.

McKnight suffered multiple injuries which included 36 head wounds, as well as injuries to his torso and legs. Neighbors attested to seeing shadows and hearing cries of pain behind the loud music that was playing in the home.

Court documents stated that McKnight's body was bundled into a Nissan Navara that drove down a track and across a livestock farmer’s field and to the city river where his body was dumped. The victim was said to be unconscious but still alive at the time he was hoisted over barbed wire and tossed into the water.

A farmer found his broken body partially wrapped in a curtain just before 5:00am. The truck was later found hidden deep in a local woodland.

The jury came to a decision after six days and more than 27 hours of deliberation to find all six defendants guilty of murder on a majority of 10-2 verdicts.

Jamie Davison recruited Arron Graham, 26, and Jamie Lee Roberts, then 17, to be the muscle of the plan. He then coaxed Coral Edgar to lure McKnight to the house while her mother and fellow drug addict Carol Edgar, 47, provided the vehicle. Paul Roberts took fresh clothing to the home after receiving a call from his son Jamie Lee. He also tossed the phone into a drain after he left the address and burned other items that could be used as evidence.

On Monday Isla Chilton, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “These co-conspirators were all responsible for Lee McKnight's death. Through CCTV, phone and forensic evidence, the CPS was able to present the jury with compelling evidence that undoubtedly showed the guilt of the accused.”

She added: “'Lee McKnight's tragic and senseless murder has shocked the community - all due to the greed of the drug dealers.”

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