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Four locked up for Rolex robbery in church yard killing of father-of-two

by Press Association
Photo Credit: Greater Manchester Police - Banner image
Photo Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Two men and two teenagers have been locked up for the manslaughter of a father-of-two who was kicked to death for his £11,000 gold Rolex watch in a church yard. 

CCTV footage captured the attack on Steven McMyler, 34, within the gardens of Wigan parish church in the early evening of 6th August last year.

Last month Lewis Peake 29, Michael Wilson, 20, and two youths from Liverpool, aged 14 and 17, were convicted at Manchester Crown Court of manslaughter after a jury found they deliberately helped or encouraged the attack.

All four were also found guilty of conspiracy to rob.

On Friday, Peake, of James Street, Little Lever, Bolton, was jailed for 13 years; Wilson, of Northfield Close, Kirkby, received a nine-year sentence, and the 14-year-old and 17-year-old, who both cannot be identified for legal reasons, will be detained for six years and eight years.

A fifth defendant will go on trial later this year over Mr McMyler’s death.

On the day of his death the joiner had been in a nearby town centre pub when Peake, 29, learned he was wearing the 18-carat Submariner watch.

Peake first tried to persuade two boys, aged 12 and 13, outside The Raven pub to help him rob Mr McMyler and offered them £100 each, a court heard.

When the offer was rejected he persisted with his “cowardly” plan as, by chance, the group from Liverpool entered the churchyard after arriving by train from the city, the court was told.

The Crown said the defendants were “opportunistic predators” who saw an opportunity to take advantage of Mr McMyler, who was alone and worse the wear for drink as he was kicked in the head.

The trial heard Mr McMyler had opted for a “clean break” by travelling to Thailand, but decided against it when he realised he needed to self-isolate for a fortnight because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He returned from London to his home on the afternoon of 6th August and still had his suitcase with him.

The court heard Peake later shamelessly returned to the attack scene and casually made off with Mr McMyler’s phone and suitcase as he lay dying.

The watch has never been recovered.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Turner told the defendants: “The jury were sure the CCTV depicted you Peake taking the Liverpool group to one side and shortly after Mr McMyler was attacked with all of you in close and intimidatory proximity.

“After the attack the members of the Liverpool group all ran off and made their escape in what am I sure was a state of exhilaration, the description given by witnesses.

“I have heard about the impact which Mr McMyler’s death has had upon his mother, his two young daughters and their mothers.

“His loss has had a deep impact and no sentence of this court will come close to atoning for his death.”

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