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  • Writer's pictureNikki Latham

Murderer jailed for Bodmin knife rampage

A 25-year-old man who murdered an innocent peacemaker and injured four other people in a knife rampage outside a Bodmin nightclub has been jailed for a minimum of 28 years.

Jake Hill fatally wounded Michael Riddiough-Allen and stabbed more victims with a tactical Kombat knife that he had taken on a night out and hidden in a bush.

Hill had collected the blade and involved himself in an altercation taking place in Castle Canyke Road in the early hours of 30 April 2023.

Rugby player Mr Riddiough-Allen, 32, from Liskeard, had stepped in to disarm Hill when he was attacked. He died at the scene from a single stab wound.

Hill fled the area and was later arrested at a co-defendant’s house - after falling through a loft hatch while trying to escape police.

He was handed a life sentence by a judge at Truro Crown Court today on Friday 12 April.

A jury found Hill, of Jubilee Terrace, Bodmin, guilty of murder and four counts of wounding with intent in March following a six-week trial.

Tia Taylor, 22, was jailed for three years for her role in Mr Riddiough-Allen’s death after she admitted charges of manslaughter and perverting the course of justice.

Chelsea Powell, also 22, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to one year and three months. The judge directed she should serve half of that sentence and as she has been on remand for nine months, she was released immediately.

Both women lied to officers in an effort to distract and delay the police investigation.

Night out ended in devastation

Hill, Taylor and Powell went to the Eclipse nightclub on an impromptu night out on 29 April 2023.

Hill was carrying a tactical Kombat knife with him and, knowing he would be searched by security at the club, hid it in a hedge nearby.

Michael was also at the nightclub celebrating at his rugby team’s end of season party with friends.

When the club closed at around 3am on 30 April, people began to make their way outside where a fight broke out and was growing as the club emptied.

CCTV cameras captured Hill running across the road and hunting around in a hedge trying to find his knife. He then ran straight into the mele, with Taylor and Powell following behind.

A short time later shouts of ‘I’ve been stabbed’ were heard and bleeding victims ran for help.

Michael stepped in to try and disarm Hill but, in his efforts, was attacked by Taylor. Her actions left Michael unable to get away or protect himself as Hill inflicted the fatal wound.

Michael collapsed to the floor and was given first-aid by friends and emergency services, however, he tragically died at the scene.

Killer tried to dispose the murder weapon

The three defendants left the scene and made their way back to Taylor’s house where Hill tried to flush the knife down the toilet. When that failed, he stashed it in a kitchen vent.

Armed officers surrounded the house at around 6.30am and called out for the occupants to come out.

Taylor appeared, carrying her two young children, and was asked by the officers if there was anyone else inside. She repeatedly denied that there was and said that ‘everyone had left’. However, one of her children told an officer that Hill was in the loft.

Police body-worn video captured the moment the loft hatch opened abruptly with Hill falling onto the landing before he was swiftly arrested.

In interview, Hill told police that he had acted in self-defence because he had been punched and said, ‘lots of people piled on top of me’.

He told the court he had been unaware of the damage he had caused or that a knife could inflict such injuries.

Further suspects identified

As the investigation progressed, Major Crime Investigation Team detectives reviewed hours of CCTV footage where they identified that Taylor and Powell had been with Hill on the night.

Both lied to police in efforts to distract the investigation by providing false information.

On 19 June 2023, Taylor and Powell were initially arrested on suspicion of murder and taken into custody. They were later charged and denied the offences.

During the trial, Taylor pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and perverting the course of justice.

The jury found Powell guilty of perverting the course of justice. She was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

Hill was found not guilty of one count of wounding with intent.

Judge says murderer showed no regret

On sentencing, Her Honour Mrs Justice Cutts rejected Jake Hill’s reasons for carrying the knife, saying that ‘experience shows that those who carry them are quick to use them’, but that there is ‘no justifications for carrying a weapon in a public place’.

She told Hill, ‘You had no reason to be carrying such a knife’ and ‘you liked the image of being a hardman’.

She did not accept that self defence formed any part of his actions that night.

Hill, she said, showed not ‘one shred of remorse’ and that during his evidence she ‘detected absolutely no regret’.

Sentence welcomed

Detective Inspector Ilona Rosson, from Devon & Cornwall Police’s the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Michael Riddiough-Allen tried to protect those around him and disarm a man who felt the need to carry a knife.
“In doing so, he tragically he lost his life.
“This case highlights the devastation and irreversible damage that carrying and using a knife can cause. No good can come from it.
“This was an incredibly complex and challenging investigation. I would like to thank the investigation team for their tireless dedication to bringing the offenders to justice.
“I’d also like to thank the family of Michael Riddiough-Allen and the surviving victims. They have supported our investigation through the most challenging of times and I commend them for the strength and courage they have shown.
“I hope that the sentences imposed by the judge and the conclusion of this case brings them some closure.”

This news story has been produced by Chesil Radio's News Team, for more information please visit:


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