Teenager jailed for life for murdering 17-year-old Charlie Cosser on dance floor at party

19 June 2024, 16:01 | Updated: 19 June 2024, 18:02

Charlie Cosser
Victim Charlie Cosser. Picture: Family handout/Sussex Police

By Kit Heren

A teenager has been jailed for life for murdering 17-year-old Charlie Cosser at a party.

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Yura Varybrus, 18 will serve a minimum of 16 years in prison for killing Charlie at the event in West Sussex last summer.

The judge had earlier lifted an order to protect his identity.

Varybrus had knifed teenager Charlie Cosser three times in the chest, after he was asked to leave an end-of-term party in the grounds of a country farmhouse.

Varybrus, who has Ukrainian parents, had never met Charlie before the party, which took place at Balmohano Farmhouse near Warnham, West Sussex.

Read more: Teenager who murdered Charlie Cosser on dance floor at party identified for the first time as judge lifts anonymity

Read more: 'Heartbroken' family of Charlie Cosser call for law change to reveal names of teenage killers

Martin Cosser, father of victim Charlie
Martin Cosser, father of victim Charlie. Picture: Alamy

He pleaded guilty to murder at Lewes Crown Court on July 28, and was meant to be sentenced in September last year.

He claims to have drunk heavily throughout the night and consequently claimed to not remember details about the killing.

At another hearing in November, his guilty plea was vacated, meaning he could be tried for murder.

Speaking outside court, Charlie's dad, Martin Cosser, said his sentence was "not enough".

"It's not even a year for every year that Charlie lived to at 17. So I can't say that I'm not disappointed with that," he said. "I expected it to be longer than that

"We haven't even started grieving Charlie yet. We now have to try and start that process of making an adjustment and put behind us what as I say, I have to be honest, it's been a really disappointing day for us.

"He's going to spend some time in prison but he will still have a chance to sit in front of a parole board in 15 years and two weeks' time, and he will be able to sit there and say why he thinks he's OK to come back out of prison.

"The life sentence is ours. That's the life sentence ... when it's so severe when life is taken, it's final. So Charlie is not coming home to us."

Charlie Cosser's father makes statement outside court in Brighton

The trial jury were not told that Varybrus had already pleaded guilty to murder days after Charlie's death.

He was 16 at the time, and replied 'Guilty' when the charge of murder was put to him in July last year.

When he was taken down from the dock at Lewes, he exchanged a raised fist salute with his father.

After the hearing, his father said: “It’s not just him, we are all guilty. He is a child, we are all responsible and should have been making sure they were not drinking.

“I never saw him drinking before. I haven’t been able to see him for five days and he is only 16, he is a child.

“We need him to know we love him and we will stay with him all his life.”

Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey makes statement following sentencing

Her Honour Judge Christine Henson KC will sentence Yura Varybrus at the Crown Court in Brighton today.

Previously Charlie’s family paid tribute to their most caring, cheeky and loving son and brother who had a “ridiculously silly sense of humour”.

They have set up a charity called Charlie's Promise which is dedicated to fighting knife crime across Surrey and the UK.

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