A father and son have been jailed for life after they callously murdered a family friend by holding him down and repeatedly driving over him in a supermarket car park.

Bobby Ternent, 32 (02.05.89) and his father Gary Ternent, 59 (15.12.62), both of Movers Lane, Barking, were sentenced at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, 19 April for the murder of John Avers.

They were each jailed for life, with Bobby to serve a minimum of 25 years and Gary to serve a minimum of 23 years. They were both found guilty of murder following an earlier trial at the same court.

The Ternents arranged to meet their friend John Avers, 47, on the evening of 13 September 2020 in Dagenham, before driving him to a quiet supermarket car park where they beat him and deliberately ran him over four times and left him for dead.

In a statement read to the court, John’s family said: “When we got the knock on the door our lives changed forever. The pain we felt being told that John had died and the way he died was heart breaking.

“We think and talk about John every day. He was a good dad and I know he loved his girls unconditionally. They have taken something from them that can never be replaced, their dad. There will be so many mile stones and achievements that he will miss from their lives but he will always be held close in our hearts and our memories.

“Our hearts are broken and I’m not sure we will ever feel the same again. The pain in our hearts is something we can’t describe. People say time is great healer, I hope this is true. John was loved by so many people, still is and always will be.”

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Rogers, the senior investigating officer from the Specialist Crime Command, said: “What Bobby and Gary did to their supposed good friend was nothing short of a cold and calculated execution. John was already lying defenceless on the floor after being attacked by Bobby, there is absolutely no excuse that can justify holding him down and then running him over not once, not twice, but four times. It is absolutely barbaric.

“Their heinous crime was absolutely shocking and extremely distressing for those who witnessed it and for John’s loved ones, who not only had to listen to the harrowing evidence given in court, but will have to live knowing the cruelty of what John endured in his final moments.

“This has been an extremely difficult time for John’s family and friends, but I hope the fact that the Ternents are now starting a lengthy stint behind bars will help to give them a small measure of comfort and closure.”

The court heard that shortly before 23:30hrs on 13 September 2020 Bobby and John were in contact and agreed to meet in Wood Lane, Dagenham. John was picked up in a silver BMW X6 driven by Bobby, with Gary in the front passenger seat.

They drove a few hundred yards up the road to a supermarket car park in Whalebone Lane South. Bobby then got out of the car and opened the rear driver’s side door where John was sitting. There was an altercation between the two men before John was pulled away from the car and onto the ground by Bobby. It is at this point that Gary then got out of the car and got into the driving seat.

CCTV captured Bobby crouching over John while Gary attempted to reverse the car, but for some reason he was unable to move it. The father and son then switched places, John was unable to get to his feet during this time – with the prosecution arguing he was probably already badly hurt at this point.

Bobby had no trouble getting the car to move and he quickly turned it around so it was facing his father, who was holding John down, preventing him from getting up. Bobby then drove straight towards them pausing momentarily to allow his father to step back out of the car’s path. John was unable to do the same.

Then, as Gary stood and watched, Bobby turned the car around and drove directly over John again, before screeching to a halt. Gary moved swiftly and got back into the car. However, instead of fleeing the scene, they drove over John a third and fourth time.

Satisfied they had done enough, they left John dead or dying in a dark, quiet car park and drove home.

When they arrived home, they did not head inside. Instead, Bobby took off his shorts and put on trousers and removed his shoes. His father carried Bobby’s shoes into the house while he drove the car a short way down the road before setting fire to it and abandoning it. He then walked home in his socks. The car, which Bobby acquired about a month before, was on false plates in a bid for it not to be traced back to him.

Meanwhile, officers had attended the car park in Whalebone Lane South after receiving 999 calls from distressed residents who were alerted to the brutal murder after hearing the sound of John’s screams.

One resident told officers that he thought they were just trying to scare someone and would stop. He added: “I couldn’t believe what I saw next and I still can’t believe that anyone would do that to someone.” He watched in horror as John was run over four times in what he called a deliberate act.

Officers arrived about five minutes after the Ternents left and found John in a large pool of blood, it was immediately obvious that he had suffered a large number of very serious injuries. Despite the best efforts of officers, the London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance, John was pronounced dead at the scene at 00:22hrs on 14 September 2020.

A post-mortem examination ruled that John died from multiple injuries. He was crushed by the car and suffered many fractures to his skull, sternum, pelvis and his left-thigh bone. Some 22 of his 24 ribs were fractured and also resulted in six separate penetrating wounds to his lungs. He also had injuries to his heart and liver.

Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command launched a murder investigation and reviewed hours and hours of CCTV footage which captured the murder as well as the Ternents movements before and after the murder.

Bobby was arrested on 18 September 2020 after officers acted on intelligence and stopped a vehicle on the M2 near Gravesend, which was being driven by his girlfriend.

Gary was arrested on 19 September 2020 at a guest house in Southend-on-Sea. Detectives discovered that on 14 September 2020 – the day after the murder – Gary and his wife arrived at the guest house without booking and asked for a room for two nights, which Gary paid for in cash. They then asked to extend their stay until 21 September 2020.

Gary answered no comment to all questions during his police interview, but Bobby did answer questions and even admitted running over John.

Bobby told detectives that he and John were very good friends and that he had worked for him for years. About three weeks before the murder, Bobby claimed John called him and asked him to look after £40,000 of stolen drug money for him. Bobby said he agreed and kept the cash in his car.

Bobby said that on the day of the murder John called and said he needed the money immediately, so they met and drove to the supermarket car park. Bobby then said that John started to scream that the money was short and they got into a fight. He told