South Yorkshire murderer hunted victim down and killed him after learning he had allegedly kicked his pregnant ex-partner in stomach
A murderer who first met his victim at Young Offender Institutions hunted him down and killed him after learning he had allegedly kicked his pregnant ex-partner in the stomach.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how Martin Wilson, aged 38, of Monsal Crescent, Athersley South, Barnsley, was found guilty after a trial of murdering Stephen Riley who died after suffering two stab wounds during the evening of June 26.
Judge Roger Thomas QC told the court during a sentencing hearing on December 17 the two men had first met years ago when they had been at Young Offender Institutions and they both accumulated convictions and misued drugs and Wilson admitted he had also dealt drugs.
But Judge Thomas explained Wilson became appalled with Mr Riley after he was shown intimate images of Mr Riley’s ex-partner and this was compounded when Wilson learned Mr Riley had been arrested for allegedly assaulting his ex-partner by kicking her in the stomach.
Judge Thomas told Wilson: “Your unhappiness about Stephen Riley was clear to the police who visited. When it was being discussed with them if he would be granted bail you said that you hoped he would get bail because he had upset a lot of people and they would be after him.”
CCTV footage captured Mr Riley visiting Wilson’s home while he was on bail on June 26 and the defendant insulted him before pursuing him on a bicycle and on foot as Mr Riley hid in a garden on Darley Avenue, Athersley.
Judge Thomas said: “You and he were clearly then shown as hunter and hunted en route to that garden where he was obviously trying to hide from you.”
He added: “During that very brief time in that garden you killed him. He suffered two very substantial knife wounds to the left side of his body.”
The defendant claimed he and his partner had been drinking heavily on June 25 and he had not left home on June 26 and he later claimed he had acted in self-defence with the suggestion Mr Riley had possessed the knife.
But Judge Thomas told Wilson: “In my judgement, there can be no doubt at all that you were the one who purposefully armed yourself with a knife when you set off from your house in pursuit of Stephen Riley and hunted him down in the garden where he was trying to hide.
"You then quickly entered that garden and in the 15 seconds or so that you were there you used that knife and struck him those two substantial blows with it.”
Wilson called his girlfriend Julie Evans and they disposed of the murder weapon, according to the court, and Wilson disposed of his bike.
Evans, also of Monsal Crescent, pleaded guilty to asssiting an offender and will be sentenced on December 21.
Judge Thomas sentenced Wilson to life imprisonment with a concurrent 58-week sentence for breaching a suspended sentence and Wilson must serve 25 years before he can be considered for release.
Wilson told the court: “I’m really sorry to his family, his friends, his kids. I’m devastated for the lad and both sides of the family. Everybody is suffering.”