THE three teenage killers of Big Issue seller Ralph Millward could be back on the streets in less than two years.

Jimmy Ayres, 15, Warren Crago and Craig Real, both 17, were yesterday put behind bars for the manslaughter of the popular homeless man.

But the punishments handed down by Judge Guy Boney QC mean the trio, all from the Rossmore area of Poole, are likely to be out by early 2012.

Mr Millward, 41, was violently kicked to death close to his pitch in Westbourne, Bournemouth, after he refused to give up his tobacco to the gang in May last year.

Judge Boney told Winchester Crown Court the boys had “snuffed out the life of a decent, innocent man” purely for their own amusement.

He said: “The violence was mindless, vicious, extreme and chillingly casual.

“You carried out this attack for no better reason than you were bored and looking for excitement.”

Despite the fact they had all been downing cider on the night of Mr Millward’s death, Judge Boney said none of the trio were seriously drunk.

He added Crago and Real had shown “no remorse at all” by returning to push a shopping trolley into the battered man. The tender years of the killers were taken into account in finalising their sentences.

Ayres, the youngest of the killers, of Aspen Gardens, will be detained for 90 weeks.

Real, from Turbary Close, was handed a sentence of four years and nine months.

Crago, of Arne Crescent, received a four-year sentence after he had pleaded guilty to manslaughter prior to the trial. All three teenagers, who were cleared of murder, have already served more than a year on remand while awaiting trial.

Detective Inspector Jez Noyce of Dorset Police said: “The senseless acts of a small group of boys led to the death of Ralph Millward in May last year, boys who had no thoughts of the consequences of their actions.

“It would be a sad indictment of society should this mindset be allowed to flourish unchecked.

“While such events are very rare in Dorset, Dorset Police will always take such behaviour seriously and work hard to pursue offenders to justice.

“This conviction and sentence should serve as a warning to those who feel they can go through life abdicating responsibility for their actions and not then face the consequences.”

Footage from the memorial service for Ralph Millward

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