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Two convicted of killing innocent man accused of pedophilia

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BRISTOL, England, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A man was beaten to death at his home after being wrongly accused of being a pedophile, Bristol, England police said.

Lee James, 24, pleaded guilty to murder and colleague Stephen Norley, 24, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender in Bristol Crown Court, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Monday, in the death of Bijan Ebrahimi.

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Ebrahimi, an avid gardener, took pictures of youths vandalizing his plants at his home July 12, intending to show police the photographs as evidence. He was led away for questioning by police as rumors circulated in the neighborhood he was photographing local children. Officers released him almost immediately, but he was killed two days later at his home, beaten unconscious and then burned to death, the newspaper said.

The local government council and an independent police complaints commission have opened separate investigations into the incident, and three police officers have been suspended.

Speaking after the hearing at which James and Norley were convicted, police stressed Ebrahimi was an innocent man.

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