Flats climb killer and accomplices jailed for life
Victim Kevin Shepperson was left bound and gagged in Willenhall, West Midlands.
A murderer who climbed up the outside of a block of flats and hauled himself into his victim’s home through a window has been ordered to serve at least 23 years behind bars.
Wayne Kendall let two other men into Kevin Shepperson’s third-storey flat, where the 39-year-old was kicked, stamped on, beaten with a dumbbell, a boxing glove and a table leg, tied up, gagged and left to die.
Kendall and his cousin Nazeem Kendall were convicted of murder by a jury last month, after their friend Cameron MacKenzie had pleaded guilty to the same charge.
Jailing the three men for life at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Judge James Burbidge QC ruled that they had intended to kill during the burglary because they knew Mr Shepperson could identify them.
Wolverhampton Crown Court was told Wayne Kendall lived in the flat directly below Mr Shepperson in Bloxwich Road South, Willenhall, West Midlands.
MacKenzie, of Richmond Street, Walsall, was ordered to serve life with a minimum term of 19 years and four months, while Nazeem Kendall, who was living at his cousin’s flat, must serve at least 21 years.
Passing sentence, Judge Burbidge told the men, who are all aged 22: “You were close friends in August 2018 when you deprived Kevin Shepperson of life, acting jointly.
“He was left in the most callous of ways to die in his own home of his injuries – it is frankly chilling to try and picture the attack by you upon him, a merciless attack.
“You then made many trips to remove property, almost literally stepping over his dead or dying body.”
The judge said there was “not a scintilla of truth” in a claim that Mr Shepperson had been attacked after making a comment about a 15-year-old girl.
The killers were arrested after Mr Shepperson’s bank card was used to pay for a hotel stay on the night following his death.
Opening the facts of the case against MacKenzie, prosecutor Alan Kent QC said Wayne Kendall was caught by a CCTV camera on August 21 last year at 9.16am, as he climbed out of his living room and manoeuvred himself up to the second floor.
Mr Shepperson, who had made a phone call to a friend eight minutes earlier, died up to six hours later from traumatic brain injuries inflicted alongside numerous rib fractures.
The victim, who was very security conscious and had three bolts fitted to his front door, was discovered on August 22 by a friend, having had his hands and feet tied.
Nazeem Kendall and MacKenzie are thought to have entered within a minute of Wayne Kendall climbing through Mr Shepperson’s window, prior to a prolonged assault during a period of up to 15 minutes.
The past 10 months have been a nightmare and have been an emotional and painful time. No parent should ever have to bury their child
The past 10 months have been a nightmare and have been an emotional and painful time. No parent should ever have to bury their child. Kevin Shepperson's family
Victim impact statements prepared by the victim’s family were not read to the court but were summarised by Mr Kent.
The prosecutor told the court: “The impact on Susan and David Argyle has been enormous, as one can only imagine when their 39-year-old son has been murdered. They are, frankly, devastated.”
In an earlier tribute, Mr Shepperson’s family said: “Kevin has had his struggle over the years with addiction but the only person he hurt was himself. At the time of Kevin’s death he had turned his life around.
“We are pleased that the people responsible for Kevin’s death, whose only aim was to profit from stealing his property for their own enjoyment, have been found guilty of his killing.
“The past 10 months have been a nightmare and have been an emotional and painful time. No parent should ever have to bury their child.”