Seven men have been jailed for their part in a burglary during which a businessman was crushed to death.

Julian Gardner was killed after he interrupted the gang of professional burglars as they ransacked property at his farm in East Sussex.

The 52-year-old was found dead by his business partner less than 100 metres from his home at Bush Barn Farm, off the A21 near Robertsbridge, several hours after the burglary on 11 October 2010.

At Lewes crown court on Wednesday Judge Anthony Scott-Gall told brothers Marcus and Terrence Bristow they had been the prime movers in the burglary and jailed them for 11 years each.

Lee Delay and Christopher Leek were described as footsoldiers in the gang and were sentenced to seven years' and four and a half years' imprisonment respectively.

Paul Dunn was jailed for seven years, Oliver Payne for three and Terrence Dunn for 18 months.

Four of the men ? Terrence Bristow, 41, and Marcus Bristow, 32, of Great Chart, Kent; Delay, 23, of Tunbridge Wells; and Dunn, 33, of Cranbrook ? were found guilty by majority verdicts of Gardner's manslaughter after almost 22 hours' deliberation.

The Bristows, Delay, Dunn, Leek, 30, of Cranbrook, and Oliver Payne, 25, of Tunbridge Wells, were found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Dunn, 57, of Sandhurst, was also found guilty of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, while Payne was found not guilty of manslaughter.

The jury was unable to come to a verdict on the manslaughter charge in relation to Leek and it was formally discharged by Scott-Gall.

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