Raymond Sykes sentenced to life for the murder of 82-year-old man

06/04/2016

Raymond Sykes, 36, was sentenced today at the Central Criminal Court to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years for the murder of Arthur Walters-Girout at his home in Sidcup in June 2015.

Mr Walters-Girout was 82 at the time of his death, he was registered disabled and walked with the aid of two crutches. Sykes knew the victim as they had previously been neighbours. After the murder Sykes stole Mr Walters-Girout's car and bank card. A total of 84 transactions were attempted with the bank card, mainly by Jason Hill, 24, and Ashley Hill, 22, with Sykes involved in four of these. If all of these had been successful they would have totalled £7,695. Jason and Ashley Hill pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and will be sentenced on April 29th.

Punam Chopra, CPS London reviewing lawyer, said: "Arthur Walters-Girout was completely defenceless against the murderous violence of Raymond Sykes. On 15th June, in his own home, he was brutally beaten with a hammer. Mr Walters-Girout was not heard from again after that day and was found dead by his son four days later.

"Without even checking if he was still alive Sykes took the victim's car and went on a fraudulent spending spree with two of his friends, spending over £600 in JD Sports and attempting to buy goods worth more than £800 in Argos.

"Sykes initially denied all involvement in the attack and then changed his story to claim that the victim had asked Sykes to help him commit suicide. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but this was not accepted by the Crown.

"The idea that this was a mercy killing or assisted suicide was contradicted by the evidence including the use of severe force and sustained violence. The jury agreed with the Crown that this was a case of murder and the Judge sentenced on the basis that this was a murder committed for gain.

"I hope this conviction gives some comfort to Mr Walters-Girout's family. I would like to thank them for their support of the prosecution."