JAILED: Murderer who killed former Rivington and Blackrod teacher with heroin overdose

JAILED: Murderer who killed former Rivington and Blackrod teacher with heroin overdose

JAILED: Murderer Christopher Sawyers

VICTIM: Kenneth Chapman

The selfie taken by prostitute Kirsty Edmondson with Mr Chapman's dead body. His body has been cropped from this photo.

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

A MURDERER has been jailed for life after he killed a former Rivington and Blackrod High School teacher with a lethal injection of heroin.

Kenneth Chapman’s body lay in his flat for 15 days until a family member raised the alarm - while his killer and prostitute Kirsty Edmondson helped themselves to his possessions and cash "like vultures".

Edmondson even took a selfie with Chapman's dead body.

Mr Chapman, aged 47, had worked at Rivington and Blackrod until he left in 2006 after meeting a 14-year-old girl he met in an internet chatroom.

He took her for a pub lunch, kissed her and showered her with gifts, which resulted in him being jailed for two-and-a half years in 2007.

Manchester Crown Court heard Christopher Sawyers killed Mr Chapman at his home in Bridgewater View, Anson Street, Winton, when he realised the financial benefit he could gain from his death.

In 2012, Chapman met prostitute Edmondson and not long later she moved into his home.

Through Edmondson, Mr Chapman met heroin addict Christopher Sawyers, who used Edmondson and other prostitutes to get money in order to buy drugs.

On December 28, 2013, Edmondson and Mr Chapman bought heroin and went to his flat in Bridgewater View, where they were later joined by Sawyers.

At some point during that day Sawyers injected Mr Chapman with a massive overdose of heroin while he was collapsed and in no position to defend himself.

Sawyers and Edmondson then continued to visit the flat and use it for their own purposes, stealing items from the flat to sell for drugs and making several attempts to defraud the now deceased Mr Chapman.

Police found his body on January 12, and post mortem tests revealed that he died from morphine toxicity.

Sawyers was convicted unanimously of murder by a jury of six men and six women after two days of deliberations.

He was also found guilty of the manslaughter of Peter Clark, in Ancoats, Manchester.

The 60-year-old died following a heroin overdose combined with alcohol intake in July 2012 — Sawyers administered the heroin.

Tony Cross QC, prosecuting, said following the murder Sawyers and his then girlfriend Kirsty Edmondson, aged 23, both of no fixed address, "acted like vultures" and stole items from Mr Chapman's home.

Edmondson was cleared of murder and manslaughter.

She started shaking as the not guilty verdicts were read out and thanked the jurors.

She and Sawyers had previously admitted fraud and theft charges.

Maureen Sinclair, Mr Chapman's sister, said she still finds it difficult to believe what happened to her brother.

Malcolm Swift, defending 35-year-old Sawyers, said no mitigation could be given.

Mr Justice Timothy Holyrode, sentencing, said: "Anyone who doubted the malign and destructive effects of the misuse of class A drugs should have sat and listened to the evidence in this trial.

"Those who have sat and listened have to the evidence have heard evidence vividly showing the utter degradation brought upon those who have become addicted to drugs.

"Edmondson summed it up perhaps as well as anybody could, she said 'drugs change your life and charge your morals. Smackheads have don't really have consciences' — which also the jury and I in this court have seen."

Sawyers, who showed no emotion throughout, was jailed for 32 years and 234 days.

Edmondson was jailed for three years.

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