April 18 2013

– Two teenagers battered a man and left him to die in an alleyway after taking pictures of his body to show friends at a house party.
Shylon Wishart, 19, and James Cartwright, 18, beat 23-year-old Shane Watson when he refused to give them a cigarette – because he didn’t have any.
The pair punched him to the ground and repeatedly stamped on his face before abandoning his body in Sedgeley, West Midlands.
James Cartwright
Shylon Wishart
Killers: James Cartwright, 18, and Shylon Wishart, 19, who beat Shane Watson before taking photos of his body as he lay dying
When Shane’s concerned girlfriend Kelly Handley, 19, rang her boyfriend because she had lost contact with him a male voice on the other end of the line chillingly told her he had been ‘dealt with’.
Kelly rushed to Shane’s home and told his mother Jane that she couldn’t find her boyfriend. The pair went out searching for him and eventually found him lying in the alleyway, his face swollen beyond recognition and covered in blood.
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Although they called the emergency services, he died from severe head injuries shortly afterwards.
After carrying out their attack, Wishard and Cartwright took pictures on their phones and boasted to others about what they had done at a party.
Victim: Shane Watson, 23, who was so badly injured that his mother and girlfriend could barely recognise him when they found his body in an alleyway
Victim: Shane Watson, 23, who was so badly injured that his mother and girlfriend could barely recognise him when they found his body in an alleyway
Cartwright pleaded guilty to murder earlier this year and Wishart was found guilty after a seven day trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday.
The pair were warned they will face life behind bars when they are sentenced for the attack in the early hours of July 27 last year.
Murder detectives arrested Cartwright and Wishart within hours at their respective homes on the afternoon of 28 July.
Judge John Warner told them: ‘The only thing to determine is the minimum term you serve before you can be considered for release.’
Mr Peter Grieves-Smith, prosecuting, told the court: ‘Their attack was characterised by gratuitous violence and a desire to humiliate the deceased.
‘Their callous indifference to the fate of Shane Watson was matched by their mocking of the deceased’s girlfriend.
‘They must have known how concerned she was and yet her calls were answered in a way calculated to cause further distress.’
Speaking after the case, Detective Inspector Nigel Harrison, from West Midlands Police, said: ‘The community was shocked and dumbfounded by the circumstances around Shane’s death.
‘We will never know the reason why Wishart and Cartwright attacked Shane on that night but we do know that they boasted about this vicious attack to partygoers later that night.
‘I hope that this conviction will provide some shred of comfort to Shane’s family and friends. Our thoughts remain with them at this very difficult time.’
Murder scene: The narrow alleyway where Shane Watson, 23, was attacked in July last year
Murder scene: The narrow alleyway where Shane Watson, 23, was attacked in July last year
Shane’s parents Jane and Steven Watson, described their son as a peacemaker and said the attack was their ‘worst nightmare’.
‘Shane was a fun loving, family orientated man. He always acted as a peacemaker and would actively avoid trouble and do his best to calm situations down,’ they said in a statement.
‘His life revolved around his extended family, friends and looking after everyone.
‘I struggle to put into words the scene that I was faced with when I saw Shane lying by himself in the alleyway.
‘It would be any mother’s worst nightmare but it is a reality for me.
‘I relive the images in my head everyday and cannot erase the painful memory of seeing Shane and hearing the voices of the people responsible for such a nasty, cruel and degrading attack.
‘The people responsible took his dignity, his life and my only son. We both idolised Shane, he was the single most important person in our lives and to see him so badly hurt has devastated us beyond words.’
– Rob Cooper


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