Preston dad's murderer gets life imprisonment
A man who murdered a vulnerable dad after moving into his home to ‘care’ for him has been jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years.
Judge Robert Altham imposed the term on Darren Taylor, 45, after Preston Crown Court heard he physically and financially abused victim Steven May, 50, in the run up to his death in May last year, after moving into his home in Raven Street.
A pathologist found Mr May had suffered 76 rib fractures in the last 12 weeks of his life, and immediately prior to his death he had suffered more acute rib fractures, compromising his ability to breathe, and a serious jaw fracture.
Evidence showed a month earlier £1,320 was withdrawn from his account.
Taylor, who said he had become Mr May’s ‘carer’, had been heard by witnesses on the phone to the bank posing as Mr May to transfer money from his savings account, which had had several thousands pounds in, into his current account where it could be withdrawn.
At the time of his death Mr May had just £8.40 in his savings and 35 pence in his current account.
Jurors were told since Taylor’s arrival, neighbours and relatives noticed Mr May’s wellbeing had deteriorated and he weighed only 6 1⁄2 stone when he died.
On May 20 Mr May, who suffered Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, epilepsy, and alcohol dependency, was found fully clothed, on his fully made up bed - with injuries prosecutors said were “systematic of abuse”.
Taylor claimed on Sunday, May 19, Steven had gone out and when he went to bed at around 11pm that evening he still had not returned home. He claims he woke on Monday May 20 to find the front door was slightly ajar and the keys on the hallway floor, and Mr May dead on his bed.
But constant rolling footage from a nearby property on Raven Street shows activity at the home the men shared from the morning of Saturday May 18, when Mr May was last seen alive, to the morning of Monday May 20, when he was ‘found’ - it shows he could not have left the house like Taylor had claimed.
Steven, 50, was born to Sheila, a seamstress, and Eddie, a binman.
He grew up in Cecilia Street, Ribbleton, with his two older sisters.
Steven was a talented artist and when he left Ribbleton Hall High School he achieved a GCSE in Art.
He was particularly close to his dad, who took him camping, and they started to go fishing on the River Ribble when Steven was seven.
But when he was just 14, Eddie was tragically killed by a hit and run drink driver, who later received unpaid work.
When Steven left school he used his artistic abilities to work as a signmaker, kit car builder and mural artist, and then aspiring to work as a “James Dean” style model.He became a dad to his first child, Natalya at 18, followed by a son, Dylan, in his 20s.
But at a young age, he had already started to drink more than he should and developed problems with alcohol.
The defendant did not give evidence in his defence during his trial, and was unanimously found guilty by the jury.