Four men jailed following the brutal murder of Leicestershire man

Four men who played a part in the murder of a disabled man from Loughborough have been jailed for a total of 59 years in prison.

Mark Swinhoe was beaten around the head with his own prosthetic leg before being stabbed to death in a drugs deal that went wrong.

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

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

Today Leicester Crown Court jailed Harry Matthews, 22, of Brush Drive, Loughborough, for life after he was found guilty of Mr Swinhoe’s murder and assault on his friend. He will serve a minimum of 27 years before being considered for release on life licence.

Jamie Wileman, 24, of Elm Grove, Swadlincote was jailed for 12 years after he was found guilty of Mr Swinhoe’s manslaughter, but acquitted of murder.

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 two counts of supplying Class A drugs. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

The three were convicted after a four week trial at Leicester crown court which concluded on Tuesday 10 July.

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 and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

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 while a stab wound to his back 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 in the attack.

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 convictions nothing will bring Mark back and his family have been left distraught by his loss. The four defendants now face more than 59 years in prison between them, I hope this gives them a chance to reflect on their actions and their devastating consequences.”