York & North Yorkshire

Shaun Skelton murder: Teen killed 53-year-old with hammer and knife

Daniel Thomas Reed Image copyright North Yorkshire Police
Image caption Daniel Thomas Reed "smashed his way into Shaun Skelton's flat" before murdering him, police said

A teenager who killed a 53-year-old man with a hammer and a knife in an unprovoked attack has been given a life sentence for murder.

Daniel Thomas Reed smashed his way into Shaun Skelton's flat on Holgate Road, York, before attacking him, North Yorkshire Police said.

He was later seen wandering the city's streets with blood on his hands.

The 19-year-old changed his plea to guilty at Leeds Crown Court. He must serve a minimum of 24 years.

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Image copyright North Yorkshire Police/Google
Image caption The body of Shaun Skelton was discovered in a flat at Chancery House on Holgate Road, York

After the killing, Reed, of no fixed address, was seen walking through York and was at the railway station and a taxi office on Queen Street before telling staff he had attacked a man.

He was arrested in the early hours of 6 March, the day after the killing.

'Needless and senseless'

Mr Skelton was described by his family as "a quiet man who kept himself to himself with a love of pet birds".

After the sentencing, Det Ch Insp Mark Pearson said: "My thoughts remain with Mr Skelton's family today, particularly his mother and stepfather whose lives have been changed forever.

"They have had to endure the devastation brought on by the needless and senseless death of Shaun.

"While no sentence can compensate for the loss of a loved one, I hope today's outcome brings a small measure of comfort to them, knowing that justice has been served and Reed is now facing the consequences of his terrible, unprovoked attack."

A second man has also been sentenced.

Scott Fletcher, 18, of Townside, Leeds, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender.

Police said he had offered Reed a place to stay after the crime and advised him to delete text messages relating to the offer of accommodation.

He must serve 18 months in a young offender's institute, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

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