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First pics of yob, 16, who battered stepdad to death with a cricket bat when he asked for son's stolen bike back

Jimmy Owens was sentenced to life in prison today for battering Derek Whyteside to death in a dispute over stolen bicycles.

Mr Whyteside was attacked in broad daylight less than a mile from his home as he searched for those responsible for stealing two bikes from his partner's children.

He had been looking for a boy suspected of the theft from outside his home in Telford, Shrops, which he shared with girlfriend Michelle Beddall.

Owens approached Whyteside from behind and struck him round the back of the head with a "full swing" of the child-sized cricket bat.

Mr Whyteside collapsed to the ground following the harrowing attack in Withywood Drive on June 18.


He suffered a fractured skull and eye socket as Owens' dad William, 40, and uncle Gareth, 39, ran over and stamped on him.

Mr Whyteside was rushed to hospital but died two days later on June 20.

Owens, who can now be named after reporting restrictions were lifted preventing the media revealing his identity, was found guilty of murder following a seven-day trial at Stafford Crown Court.

And today at Stoke-on-Trent court he was jailed for life, due to serve a minimum term of 10 years.



Owens, dressed in a blue sweatshirt and grey trousers, remained emotionless in the dock as he was sentenced.

The Owens brothers pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to affray.

William Owens was sentenced to 20 months while Gareth Owens will be sentenced later today.

Judge Paul Glenn told the defendants they had acted like a "pack of hyenas" when they battered Mr Whyteside to death.

He told the 16-year-old: "You took a weapon to the scene.

"You intended to have it available for use as a weapon, and you did use it to commit the murder.
"These events occurred in broad daylight and in the presence of children – your use of violence was totally gratuitous.
"You charged upon him like a pack of hyenas."


Armed with a knuckleduster, Whyteside was said to have confronted the teenager who ran away.

Owens then armed himself with a cricket bat, for what he said was self defence, then hit Mr Whyteside in another confrontation.

Prosecutor Kevin Hegarty told the court during the trial: "Before he could take another step [Whyteside] collapsed to the ground.

"He then cracked the back of his head on the ground, which caused a further serious fracture – and in turn, damage to his brain."


 

Witnesses said the boy shouted that he had "killed him" as Mr Whyteside lay motionless in the road.

Hegarty said of the killer: "He gave Mr Whyteside no chance to take any action to defend himself or to get away.

No chance at all."



 

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