Joseph McKeever murder: Burned body torture gang jailed

Jamie Grimes, Karl Kelly, Darren Colecozy and Dylan Owen Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Jamie Grimes, Karl Kelly, Darren Colecozy and Dylan Owen were convicted on Wednesday

Four men have been jailed over the death of a man who was held captive and subjected to "extreme torture" before his body was found in a burnt-out car.

Joseph McKeever, 54, was found dead in Liverpool in June 2017 having suffered "a sustained and brutal attack".

Jamie Grimes, 22, was jailed for life for murder. Darren Colecozy, 23, and Karl Kelly, 32, were given 22-year sentences for manslaughter.

Dylan Owen, 23, received six years for assisting an offender.

Owen, of Paul McCartney Way, was convicted on Wednesday with the other three defendants at Liverpool Crown Court.

Grimes, of Breckside Place, Liverpool, was told he will serve at least 27 years of his sentence.

Colecozy, of no fixed address, and Kelly, of Snaefell Avenue, Liverpool, were also given concurrent sentences of 12 years for false imprisonment.

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Joseph McKeever was murdered in June 2017

Mr McKeever was last seen at about 17:50 BST on 14 June with Grimes, Owen and two other men at MGM motors in Brecon Street.

He was subjected to a four-hour assault before being driven to a flat rented by Colecozy where further assaults took place.

The jury heard evidence that Mr McKeever was killed because he was wrongly suspected of cheating his associates out of a shipment of drugs from Spain which had been seized by the authorities.

During the assaults, Colecozy, a self-styled rapper also known as Capz, texted a friend and likened the violence to that seen in TV crime dramas, the court heard.

Rachael Barber from the Crown Prosecution Service said the level of violence was "truly sickening".

"The evidence revealed that Mr McKeever had been subject to extreme torture before he died.

"We will never really know the true extent of his injuries as his body was so badly burnt when it was eventually recovered."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mr McKeever's body was found inside a burnt-out car in Whitehaven Road, Everton

Det Ch Insp John Middleton from Merseyside Police said: "This was a horrific killing.

"We know that Mr McKeever suffered a sustained and brutal attack."

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