Sunday, 25 Oct 2020

Thug who murdered disabled grandad with roundhouse kick said ‘I’m glad I did it’

A martial-arts enthusiast murdered a grandad in a wheelchair with a roundhouse kick, before saying "I'm glad I did it."

Daniel Sharples viciously attacked the 53-year-old causing him fatal injuries.

The drugged-up 38-year-old was found guilty of the murder of Michael Mairs on Wednesday.

During the brutal attack, he tipped the amputee out of his wheelchair and kicked him, causing Mr Mairs to die of his injuries three weeks later.

Sharples had ordered pints of lager, pancakes and Sambuca shots for breakfast in two pubs beforehand, reports Liverpool Echo.

When the 38-year-old was arrested after the killing, officers told him that seriously injured Mr Mairs had been rushed to hospital.

But he told police: "The guy in the wheelchair…the one who sold my son smack. Well I'm never gonna go against that.

"I'm glad I did it and I'll do it again.

"He's f***ing nearly killed my 15-year-old son, he's in a coma and youse have done nothing."

A trial heard his teenage son gave a statement, saying he had never taken drugs and had never met Mr Mairs.

The dad also alleged Mr Mairs supplied spice to his son, but neither the teen, nor Sharples' step-son, said they had ever taken it.

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Sharples admitted manslaughter, but denied murder, in relation to the attack in Warrington town centre on the afternoon of October 6 last year.

He decided not to take the stand and offered no evidence in his defence, which rested solely on his barrister's closing speech.

Jurors took 10 hours of deliberation to unanimously find him guilty of murder, after a seven-day trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

One woman, who saw Sharples kick Mr Mairs to the face, described it as a "round kick, the type a martial artist might use".

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A bus driver said Sharples punched Mr Mairs in the face while the victim was in his wheelchair, then kicked him to his head as he lay unconscious on the ground.

Another witness said: "It was like something from a film, like a karate kick, it looked hard and fast.

"The attacker's leg went quite high to kick him in the face.

"I think the force of the kick sent the wheelchair flying backwards with the man in it."

Stephen Wood, QC, defending, said the jury shouldn't hold the fact Sharples didn't give evidence against him and couldn't be sure he intended to kill or cause really serious harm – the requirement to convict a person of murder.

He said his client did a "terrible thing", but said there was "at least a nagging doubt as to what he actually intended" given he was "clearly intoxicated".

Mr Wood said witnesses described Sharples as a "nutcase", who was "frothing at the mouth", and in a police van he was calm, then suddenly flipped and banged his head on the door, before he soiled himself and stripped naked in a cell, then punched himself.

He said: "The overwhelming conclusion is that Daniel Sharples was not in control, far from it."

Sharples will be sentenced on October 27.

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