Northampton

John Kiernan murder: Phillip Haslam jailed for life

Phillip Haslam
Image caption The judge told Haslam his behaviour was "brutal, merciless and wicked".

A man who tied up a 62-year-old and beat him to death has been jailed for life at Northampton Crown Court.

Phillip Haslam, of Gloucester Close, Kettering, was told he would have to serve at least 32 years for the murder of John Kiernan on 19 September 2011.

Mr Kiernan's body was found bound and gagged two weeks later at his home in Havelock Street.

Mr Justice Henriques told Haslam: "Your behaviour was brutal, merciless and wicked."

Haslam, 36, had admitted burgling Mr Kiernan's house but denied his murder.

'Weasel'

He was also sentenced to eight years for robbery and 40 months for two burglaries.

The judge said: "On 19 September you entered his [Mr Kiernan's] flat through the window.

"You made him sign a cheque - only you know how that was acquired.

"You tied him up to stop him from contacting his bank."

Image caption Christine Windle had lured another vulnerable man to a block of flats where he was robbed

In the days after the murder, police found a pair of trainers and gloves with traces of Mr Kiernan's blood at a house in Gloucester Close where Haslam was staying.

Haslam, known locally as "Ratty" and "Weasel", admitted a separate incident on 1 September 2011 where another 62-year-old from Kettering, was robbed after being hit over the head with a hammer.

The court heard Haslam's girlfriend, Christine Windle, 37 of Gloucester Close, lured the man to a block of flats.

The pair attacked him and stole his bank card.

Windle also pleaded guilty to this offence and to a separate offence of handling stolen goods belonging to Mr Kiernan.

She was sentenced to six years for robbery and two years for handling stolen goods.

Det Ch Insp Steve Woliter of Northamptonshire Police said: "Mr Kiernan was a vulnerable and lonely man who was targeted by Phillip Haslam in August and September 2011, repeatedly burgling his house.

"He used fear and violence to steal money from Mr Kiernan to fund his spiralling drug and alcohol habit."

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