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A "COWARDLY" killer has been jailed for battering a dad-of-two to death for his £13,000 Rolex.

CCTV footage captured Steven McMyler, 34, being attacked in the grounds of Wigan parish church in the early evening of August 6 last year.

3Steven McMyler, 34, was 'kicked to death' in the grounds of Wigan parish church on August 6 last yearCredit: Greater Manchester Police

Two men and two teenagers have been locked up for the killing after being convicted at Manchester Crown Court.

Lewis Peake 30, Michael Wilson, 20, and two youths from Liverpool, aged 14 and 17, were convicted of manslaughter after a jury found they deliberately helped or encouraged the attack.

All four were also found guilty of conspiracy to rob. They were sentenced to a combined total of 36 years.

On the day of his death, joiner McMyler had been in a nearby town centre pub when Peake learned he was wearing the 18-carat Submariner watch, estimated to be worth £13,000.

Peake first tried to recruit two ages, aged 12 and 13, outside The Raven pub to help him rob Mr McMyler and offered them £100 each, the 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 a chance to take advantage of Mr McMyler, who was alone and worse for wear for drink, as he was kicked in the head.

3Lewis Peake, 30, was jailed for 13 years for the killingCredit: Greater Manchester Police 3Michael Wilson, 20, of Kirkby, landed a nine-year sentenceCredit: Greater Manchester Police

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 August 6 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.

Mr McMyler suffered "unsurvivable" head injuries and was sadly pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 7.30pm.


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."

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.

GMP Detective Sergeant Heidi Cullum

Peake, of Bolton, was jailed for 13 years while Wilson, of Kirkby, received a nine-year sentence.

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.

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.

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"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." 

Man, 34, kicked to death in churchyard as police release CCTV of four men

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Tags: crime for steven’s family steven’s family greater manchester police for steven’s the investigation team family for the killing the court heard the court heard was jailed from liverpool the defendants michael wilson shortly after to death

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Demi Lovato is reflecting on their "complicated" relationship with their late father. The singer took to her Instagram Story on Father's Day to share a message about the "difficult" day for some. Lovato's dad, Patrick Lovato, died in 2013. 

"Trying not to wake up sad.. Trying to stay positive. Today is always so difficult. This is for anyone else who's lost a father, can't be with their dad, didn't know their dad, or anyone who has a tough relationship with their dad," they wrote. "I spent many years on this holiday wondering whether or not I should call him.. take it from me, if you can, make the call." 

"Some days I regret not calling but other days I'm proud of myself for holding my boundary because I was doing what was best for me and my mental health. It's complicated, and I wish it were different but this made me into the person I am today," Lovato added. "Anyway my heart goes out to the people still holding their boundaries as well." 

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Lovato, who has written several songs about their father, including "Father" and "Butterfly," opened up about their conflicting feelings about his death in a 2015 YouTube video. 

"I was very conflicted when he passed, because he was abusive," Lovato said. "He was mean, but he wanted to be a good person. And he wanted to have his family, and when my mom married my stepdad, he still had this huge heart where he said, ‘I’m so glad that [he's] taking care of you and doing the job that I wish I could do.'"

Lovato said their father's mental illness made him incapable of raising a family. After his death, the singer created the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program in his honor, which helps to pay for treatment expenses for individuals struggling with mental health and/or addiction issues.

"To know that it wasn't fully his fault really was saddening to me," they shared. "I wanted to write about it. I wanted to process it."

See more on Lovato in the video below. 


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