Manchester

Steven Rourke wheelie bin murder: James Anthony Jepson jailed

Steven Rourke
Image caption Post-mortem tests revealed Steven Rourke had been strangled

A man from Wigan has been jailed for life for murdering a 26-year-old whose body was left in a wheelie bin in Greater Manchester.

The body of Steven Rourke was found by two men walking off Bickershaw Lane, Wigan, on 25 March. Post-mortem tests revealed he had been strangled.

James Anthony Jepson, 25, of Bickershaw Lane, Wigan, had denied murder, but was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court.

The judge said Jepson must serve a minimum of 18 years in prison.

A police spokesman said Jepson had strangled Mr Rourke using a washing line, put his body head first in the bin and covered it with carpet underlay.

'Troubled individual'

He said Jepson suffered from "mood swings and had a history of violent behaviour".

Senior investigating officer Andrew Tattersall said Jepson had "devastated Steven's family by not only taking his life away, but also by the callous way in which he has done so".

"Jepson is clearly a troubled individual but a jury has found that this is no excuse for him not to be held responsible for Steven's murder," he said.

"Only he knows why he killed Steven in such a violent manner and moved the wheelie bin which meant that someone else had to find the body and call the police.

"Our thoughts remain with the family of Steven Rourke, and I hope today's result brings them some closure and helps them to move on."

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