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Cowardly Gang of four jailed for 36 years after kicking man to death in attempt to steal Rolex watch

Steven McMyler, from Marsh Green, was found with serious injuries in the grounds of Wigan Parish Church on August 6 last year

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Steven McMyler was killed in the attack

Steven McMyler was killed in the attack

Steven McMyler was killed in the attack

Two men and two teenage boys have been jailed for a combined 36 years after kicking a man to death in a failed attempt to steal his £11,000 (12,800 euro) watch.

Steven McMyler, from Marsh Green, was found with serious injuries in the grounds of Wigan Parish Church on August 6 last year.

The 34-year-old joiner and dad-of-two was later pronounced dead by medics.

Last month Lewis Peake (29), Michael Wilson (20) and two youths from Liverpool, aged 14 and 17, were convicted at Manchester Crown Court of manslaughter after a jury found they deliberately helped or encouraged the attack.

All four were also found guilty of conspiracy to rob before being sentenced.

Peake, from Bolton, was alleged to have recruited a group of four people from Merseyside to assault Mr McMyler, so he could steal his Rolex.

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Lewis Peake was convicted

Lewis Peake was convicted

Lewis Peake was convicted

 

After a three-week trial at Manchester Crown Court, he was found guilty of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob, along with three members of that group - Wilson, from Kirkby, and the two teenagers who cannot be named for legal reasons.

A fifth defendant will go on trial later this year over Mr McMyler's death.

The court had heard Mr McMyler had returned to Wigan last August 6 from London after changing his mind about flying out to Thailand. Mr McMyler had decided against the trip when he realised he needed to self-isolate for a fortnight because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He still had his suitcase with him as he spent time drinking with Peake, a man he had never met before, in Wigan town centre in the hours leading up to his death.

Peake first tried to persuade two boys, aged 12 and 13, outside The Raven pub to help him rob Mr McMyler and offered them £100 (116 euro) each, a court heard.

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Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson

His offer was rejected but he persisted with his “cowardly” plan because, by chance, the group from Liverpool entered the churchyard after arriving by train from the city, the court was told.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Turner told the defendants: “The jury were sure the CCTV depicted you Peake taking the Liverpool group to one side and shortly after Mr McMyler was attacked with all of you in close and intimidatory proximity.

“After the attack the members of the Liverpool group all ran off and made their escape in what am I sure was a state of exhilaration, the description given by witnesses.

“I have heard about the impact which Mr McMyler's death has had upon his mother, his two young daughters and their mothers.

“His loss has had a deep impact and no sentence of this court will come close to atoning for his death.”

In a statement read in court, Mr McMyler's mother Carole, said her family's hearts were “ripped out of our chest in an instant” after his death.

She spoke of having to tell Steven's two young daughters, aged three and seven, that he would not be returning home - and said she herself had been unable to return to work as a district nurse since his death.

Ms McMyler added that her husband is now “no longer the bubbly person he once was” and had to close his business of 40 years after becoming 'overburdened with grief'.

She added: "Why our Steven? Why such a well-liked and popular lad?"

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