Man Takes Photo Of His Murderer Moments Before He Is Killed
The killer of a man who was stabbed to death in his car on has been jailed for life thanks to a picture taken by the victim moments before he was murdered.
The incident took place in Wythenshawe, Manchester, in the early hours of 22 June. Shaun Murphy, 38, was sitting in his car with girlfriend, Kelly Fielding.
Thirty-three-year-old Lee Walker approached the car, asking Mr Murphy "Got any sniff?" before becoming increasingly agitated and shouting at the couple while also revealing he was carrying a knife.
Mr Murphy was about to drive off when Walker thrust the knife through the open window, stabbing him in the heart.
The car moved forward for a short distance, but Ms Fielding then pulled the handbrake and took Mr Murphy out of the car to perform CPR.
During the altercation, she had accidentally pocket dialled Mr Murphy, whose phone recorded her saying: "'Get a picture of him, get it, see who he is, get a picture of him, see who he is, get a picture of him."
That's something Mr Murphy attempted to do, and the blurry picture he managed to take was enough to convict Walker of the murder.
Walker initially denied the charges, asking police "What murder?" when he was first brought in for questioning, but he later pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court.
The defence had argued that Walker has been suffering suffered from depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the death of a friend in 2004. They also claimed that in 2016, he had received a 'threat to life' notice from police, which was the reason he was carrying a knife.
The court also heard from Walker's lawyer that the suspect, who has 24 previous convictions including for inflicting grievous bodily harm, robbery and possessing an offensive weapon, was 'genuinely remorseful' for his actions.
However, Judge David Stockdale QC sentenced Walker to life in prison with a minimum of 17 years and six months.
"The circumstances in which you killed Shaun Murphy are barely explicable," said the judge. "You stabbed him with a long bladed knife which you were carrying for no good reason whatsoever.
"There was no bad history between you and Shaun Murphy. You had never met before. Shaun Murphy posed no threat to you. On the contrary, he was sitting harmlessly in the driver's seat of his car. Provoked by the words of his passengers, you reacted by stabbing him to death.
"This was an almost inexplicable act of extreme mindless violence. There was no real motive.
"The violence was triggered by no more than a loss of temper, and an urge which you could not control to demonstrate power over an unarmed and defenceless victim."
Shaun's sister, Julie Sherlock, made a powerful victim impact statement in the court.
"The person that killed Shaun has stolen my last goodbye," she said. "My future with my brother.
"I want this person to stay in prison for a long time. He will still be able to see his family and have visits. We will never be able to speak, laugh or be in the company of Shaun ever again."
Featured Image Credit: MEN/GMP