‘Dangerous’ Christmas Day killer jailed for life

Wayne Muirhead.

Wayne Muirhead.

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A ‘dangerous’ drug addict convicted of manslaughter after he violently attacked a man in his Sheffield home in a Christmas Day robbery has been jailed for life.

Wayne Muirhead, of Batemoor Road, Batemoor was told by a judge at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday that he must serve at least ten years behind bars before he can apply for parole.

Picture shows Stephen Starkey who has died from injuries after being attacked in his Sheffield home on Christmas day. See Ross Parry copy RPYROB : A 61-year-old man was injured when his house was robbed on Christmas Day on Reney Crescent. A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a resident who was robbed in his Sheffield home on Christmas Day died in hospital. The 37-year-old suspect is being quizzed today by detectives following the incident in Reney Crescent, Greenhill. Officers said a man was attacked in his own home before cash and a games console were stolen. Police said the robbery victim was left in a critical condition after the raid and died overnight.
Tom Maddick / Rossparry.co.uk

Picture shows Stephen Starkey who has died from injuries after being attacked in his Sheffield home on Christmas day. See Ross Parry copy RPYROB : A 61-year-old man was injured when his house was robbed on Christmas Day on Reney Crescent. A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a resident who was robbed in his Sheffield home on Christmas Day died in hospital. The 37-year-old suspect is being quizzed today by detectives following the incident in Reney Crescent, Greenhill. Officers said a man was attacked in his own home before cash and a games console were stolen. Police said the robbery victim was left in a critical condition after the raid and died overnight. Tom Maddick / Rossparry.co.uk

Mr Justice Timothy King told 41-year-old Muirhead: “I have no doubt you are dangerous.”

His victim, Stephen Starkey, a retired caretaker aged 61, was injured after Muirhead barged his way into his home in Reney Crescent looking for cash on Christmas Day 2014.

Muirhead punched him in the face before knocking him to the floor and breaking his collar bone.

Due to his injuries, Mr Starkey was taken to hospital where he was given paracetamol for pain relief. But suffering from alcoholism and under-nourishment, he reacted badly and died on December 30 from acute liver failure.

In a previous incident on November 7, 2014, Muirhead had stolen £280 from Mr Starkey.

After a trial, Muirhead was convicted of manslaughter and of robbing Mr Starkey of £1,500 cash, a Playstation and a mobile phone. He was also convicted for the November 7 robbery.

Muirhead was sentenced to 12 years for the earlier robbery and 16 years for the second one, to run concurrently to his life sentence. Mr Starkey’s daughter Kealie Starkey paid tribute to her father and said to Muirhead in a statement: “No amount of money, therapy, doctors or time will heal this wound you have inflicted on so many people.”

Speaking after the sentencing, senior investigating officer detective inspector Richard Partridge said: “Muirhead preyed on a quiet, calm man who kept to himself. Muirhead has shown no remorse for his actions and the fact he attacked Mr Starkey on Christmas Day is appalling, something I simply can’t understand.

“The significant sentence handed to him at court reflects the gravity of his despicable crimes.

“This crime shocked the local community and devastated Mr Starkey’s family, so I hope what happened at court yesterday offers them some small reassurance that this wicked man is behind bars for a long time, where he can harm nobody else.”