Arrogant murderer faces life behind bars for Barnsley pensioner killing

Police tape at the scene of Mrs Walker's murder.
Police tape at the scene of Mrs Walker's murder.
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A violent thug who throttled, beat and stabbed to death a frail 75-year-old grandma - all to steal her £104 pension money - is today facing life behind bars for her murder.

It took just two hours for a Sheffield Crown Court jury to find father-of-four Liam Naylor, aged 23, guilty of murdering Doreen Walker, known to her family as Dotty, at her home.

Murderer Liam Naylor.

Murderer Liam Naylor.

The senior investigating officer in the case said the bloody killing was one of the most ‘brutal’ and ‘abhorrent’ murders he’d dealt with in his 29-year career.

Detective Superintendent Richard Fewkes said: “Liam Naylor’s motive still remains unclear. Exactly what was going through his head we will never know.

“He committed one of most brutal murders I have ever seen. Whatever the motive it can never excuse the brutality he inflicted on Mrs Walker.

“It was clearly a very brutal, savage and unprovoked assault.

Scene of the murder of a woman in her 70's at Birkwood Avenue in Cudworth, Barnsley. Two  people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

Scene of the murder of a woman in her 70's at Birkwood Avenue in Cudworth, Barnsley. Two people have been arrested in connection with the incident.

“The account he put forward - that he was attacking in self defence - was ludicrous, and the evidence against him was overwhelming.”

Naylor claimed the 5ft 3ins tall eight stone pensioner - who had arthritis and was partially deaf - attacked him on April 1 this year.

After a struggle in which he tried to disarm her, he said, she ‘jumped onto’ her own 20ins carving knife - which her horrified son-in-law discovered still embedded in her neck when he found her body the next day.

The jury heard Naylor was friends with Mrs Walker’s granddaughter, Keeley Sweeney, 17, with whom he’d had had a sexual relationship.

The pair were regular visitors to Mrs Walker’s home in Birkwood Avenue, Cudworth, Barnsley, where the OAP gave them food, money and cigarettes.

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Simon Waley, prosecuting, said Mrs Walker collected her pension money on the day of the murder, and told a shop worker she had fallen out with Keeley.

Naylor, of Junction Street, Barnsley, was seen on CCTV entering her home at 9.30pm that day and emerging two hours later.

Mrs Walker, who had three children and five grandchildren, suffered more than 40 ‘sharp force injuries’ to her head, face, neck, arms and chest.

One stab wound penetrated her heart while another sliced her spine. Her major arteries were severed.

Naylor, who agreed Mrs Walker was ‘kind and caring’, also broke the OAP’s nose by punching her in the face, and twisted her arm so badly it snapped.

Then he rifled through her jewellery box, attacked her again, and went home to wash her blood from his hands - before heading out into Barnsley town centre where he spent her money on drinks, McDonald’s and a taxi home.

Naylor will be sentenced today.

Killer was on Jeremy Kyle show

Killer Liam Naylor appeared on The Jeremy Kyle Show just five months before committing murder – to take a DNA test in a paternity row which proved he was the dad of one of his children.

The jobless 23-year-old, who lived on benefits, boasted to the host he had two children with another on the way, and bragged to researchers: “I get everybody pregnant. I impregnate everyone I’ve been with.”

He is now a father of four.

The senior detective who led the investigation into Doreen Walker’s murder today described Naylor as ‘arrogant’.

Detective Superintendent Richard Fewkes said Naylor smiled in court as the horrifying evidence against him was outlined to jurors - and grinned again when questioned by prosecutors.

“I watched Liam Naylor give his evidence and observed him throughout the trial,” he said. “There is an air of arrogance about him.

“He was smiling in court, and again when he was challenged by prosecution counsel, and I think that sums him up.”

Det Supt Fewkes said Naylor’s victim was an elderly ‘homebird’ who was ‘mobile but frail’. She had the onset of arthritis and was partially deaf.

“She was a woman who showed great kindness and, on occasion, extended that kindness to Liam Naylor - which makes these offences even more abhorrent,” he said.

“In the hours before he murdered her she was still showing kindness to him in her own home.

“The evidence against Naylor was overwhelming, and his assertion that he was defending himself was pathetic and truly reflective of his perverse character.

“Mrs Walker’s family and close friends have endured months of pain and anguish since her murder and have been forced to relive events during the trial.

“I hope Naylor’s conviction will provide them with some solace and help them to move forward in the knowledge her killer has been brought to justice.”

Naylor showed no emotion as the jury delivered their unanimous guilty verdict.

Mrs Walker’s family in the public gallery said ‘Yes’ and some wiped away tears.