The Star Says: Justice at last for ‘gentle, kind’ Simon

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Sometime today the killer of Simon Holdsworth will find the true extent of his sentence for this brutal, senseless murder.

A life term is mandatory, but Judge Justice Henry Globe will today set the minimum time that Shaun Wainwright will be behind bars before he can even be considered for parole.

Some say life should mean life and in this case it is very hard to disagree that Wainwright should be a very, very old man before he even gets hope of stepping outside prison walls once again.

For he cruelly and needlessly took the life of a man who, by all accounts of those closest to him, was ‘gentle, kind and loved by everyone’.

In a city which prides itself on hard work Simon was a typical Sheffield man – ‘one of life’s grafters’ said his boss at FBS Prestige, where he worked for 16 years.

His colleagues were ‘absolutely devastated’ by his violent death at the hands of a man who claimed to be a ‘friend’.

Wainwright, who we now know to have had a violent past, lay in wait and bludgeoned Simon to death after he refused to reopen the factory where they both worked, so he could get his wallet he had accidentally left behind.

The thug, who was much bigger than 5ft 7in Simon, hid in the dark as his workmate walked home and beat him to death with a blunt weapon, believed to be a metal bar stolen from work.

Can there be a more cowardly act than that?

As Simon entered the playing fields close to Rainbow Forge Primary School in Hackenthorpe in December 2013 he had been carrying a rucksack, which contained a letter to Father Christmas from his stepson Tiarnan, who was turning four that Christmas Eve, along with notes about his forthcoming stag do and wedding to fiancee Carleen McKeown the following summer.

That there tells you what kind of man Simon was.

And to have his future – his family’s future – taken away from him by Wainwright is despicable.

To compound his actions Wainwright then put together a bizarre cover story which the jury thankfully saw through to find him guilty in less than two hours when they returned yesterday.

Wainwright will have many years sat in a cell to contemplate the evil of his crime.

We can only hope that time goes slowly for him yet becomes a healer for Simon’s family.