Two people have been sentenced after pleading guilty to assisting a murderer after he killed a teenager in Radstock.

Charley Bates was stabbed by Joshua Delbono at a car park in The Street on Sunday 31 July 2022.

Delbono received a life sentence in April 2023, and will serve a minimum of 21 years, after being found guilty of murder by a jury.

However a man and a woman that helped him in the aftermath of the murder have been brought to justice too.

CCTV footage showed 20-year-old Jack Seal travelling in a Citroen to the car park in the centre of Radstock, with Delbono travelling with his then-girlfriend Lauren Ephgrave, 21, in the Seat behind.

After Delbono had stabbed 16-year-old Charley they fled the scene in the same two vehicles, stopping at various points where they learned Charley had died before heading to Shearwater Lake, near Warminster. Delbono admitted during his trial that he threw the knife he used to murder Charley into the lake.

While at the lake, Ephgrave took photos of clothes being burned in an attempt to dispose of evidence.

Lauren Ephgrave sentenced for 10 months
(Avon and Somerset Police )

Ephgrave, of Melksham, and Seal, of Frome, both pleaded guilty to assisting an offender and were sentenced by Judge William Hart at Bristol Crown Court today (Friday 1 March). A third person was charged with the same offence and found not guilty in November last year.

Ephgrave received a 10-month custodial sentence suspended for 18 months and must engage in 20 days’ rehabilitation activity.

Seal was sentenced to 15 months in prison, again suspended for 18 months, and must engage in 140 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months.

Jack Seal
(Avon and Somerset Police)

Judge Hart in sentencing the pair remarked both had chosen to help Delbono after he fatally wounded Charley, rather than the critically injured teenager. He also recognised the dignity Charley’s family had shown throughout all the legal proceedings.

Detective Inspector Mark Newbury, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Charley’s tragic death caused a huge amount of shock in Radstock. The outpouring of public grief that followed showed his popularity and how much he is missed by family and friends.

“Today’s hearing brings to a conclusion a significant police investigation that has ensured that not only a dangerous murderer is behind bars, but now has seen two people who helped him on that fateful day receive criminal records too.

“Assisting an offender is an incredibly serious offence and it is not one we will ever take lightly.”