Four convicted after a man was murdered in botched drugs deal

Issued on 10/7/18 at 5:25 p.m.

A man was beaten over the head with his own prosthetic leg before being stabbed to death in a drugs deal that went wrong.

Amputee 38-year-old Mark Swinhoe had gone with a friend to Moira Street in Loughborough where he had arranged to meet someone to obtain drugs.

But shortly after arriving, he was attacked and killed by two men who then attacked his friend in a vicious and violent encounter.

Today (Tuesday 10 July), at Leicester Crown Court, the jury found Harry Matthews, 22, of Brush Drive, Loughborough, guilty of Mr Swinhoe’s murder. Matthews was also found guilty of assault. He had previously pleaded guilty to supplying Class A drugs and possession of a knife.

Jamie Wileman, 24, of Elm Grove, Moira, Swadlincote was found guilty of Mr Swinhoe’s manslaughter but acquitted of murder. He had also previously pleaded guilty to supplying Class A drugs.

The verdicts in relation to Mr Swinhoe’s death for Matthews and Wileman were majority verdicts.

Paul Anthony Williams, 38, of no fixed address, was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter but was found guilty of supplying Class A drugs.

A fourth man, Christopher Cunningham-Pithouse, 24, of Glebe Road, Queniborough, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to assisting an offender and supplying class A drugs.

All four will be sentenced on Thursday 19 July.

Mr Swinhoe was killed in the early hours of Sunday 14 January in a garage block near Moira Street. The court heard that Mr Swinhoe had no intention to pay for the drugs and was going to rob the defendants.

A post-mortem examination found that whilst a stab wound to his chest had caused his death, he had also been stamped and kicked around the head and witnesses describe him being hit with his own prosthetic leg.

His friend sustained bruising to her body and a cut to her face. Detective Chief Inspector Martin Smalley, who led the investigation, said: “Matthews came armed with a weapon and had no qualms in attacking Mr Swinhoe. This was a vicious attack by any definition.

“While I am pleased with the guilty verdicts nothing will bring Mark back and his family have been left distraught by his loss. All will now face a considerable time in prison and I hope this gives them a chance to reflect on their actions and their devastating consequences.

“Knives can and do kill. It is time that those who carry such weapons realised this.

“We continue to prioritise knife crime and are doing everything we can to dissuade people from thinking it is acceptable to carry them as weapons.

“We work closely with partner agencies to educate people, especially youngsters, on the devastation these incidents leave behind, the cost to them and the lives of others.

“Operations are carried out across the force area and those identified as being involved in knife crime or suspected of carrying weapons in public places are targeted.

“It is high time that people took note of the senseless death toll that is inexorably growing in this country and changed their behaviour.”

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