Two men and two teenage boys have today being sentenced after being convicted on killing a man in a conspiracy to rob a high-value watch in the centre of Wigan last August.
Lewis Peake, 30, Michael Wilson, 20, and two teenagers – aged 17 and 14 – were sentenced today at Manchester Crown Court to a combined total of 36 years in jail after being convicted of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob.
The court heard how on Thursday 6 August last year, Peake, of James Street, Little Lever, recruited the three other offenders to assault Steven, aged 34, and attempted to steal his Rolex watch worth an estimated £13,000.
During the incident Steven suffered unsurvivable head injuries and was sadly pronounced dead at the scene in the gardens of Wigan Parish Church a short time later.
A homicide investigation was launched by GMP’s Major Incident Team – codenamed Operation Manhattan – and, after meticulously working through a considerable number of lines of inquiry, five suspects were charged with Steven’s murder.
Alongside Peake, Wilson, of Northfield Close, Kirby, and two teenage boys from Merseyside that cannot be named for legal reasons were found guilty in May of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob.
Today, Peake received 13 years and Wilson nine years in jail.
The 17-year-old boy was ordered to serve eight years and the 14-year-old six years.
A fifth suspect from Kirkby is due to stand trial for murder later this year.
Speaking after today’s sentencing, Detective Sergeant Heidi Cullum, Officer in Case for Operation Manhattan, said: “Our endeavour from day one of this investigation was to get some justice for Steven’s family and friends after he was so tragically taken away from them.
“On that evening last August, Lewis Peake, Michael Wilson and the two teenage boys, embarked on what was ultimately a fatal plot to rob Steven of his watch – when what they actually ended up doing was robbing him and his loved ones of his life.
“Their cowardly actions and subsequent denial of their roles in this killing means that there is great satisfaction for the investigation team that these four are now behind bars.
“No sentence could ever be enough for Steven’s family, who have been subjected to their own life sentence, and they now must prepare to relive the trauma once again for the final trial of the fifth defendant later in the year.
“They have remained admirably strong throughout this case and my thoughts, and the thoughts of all the investigation team, remain with them today.”