Two men convicted and sentenced for murder - Oxford

20/12/2012

Two people have today, Thursday, 20 December 2012, been convicted at Oxford Crown Court of the murder of Denis Witney in Oxford.

Wayne Cattell, aged 37, of Mortimer Road, Rose Hill, and Daniel McCollin, aged 30, of Blay Close, Blackbird Leys, were sentenced to life imprisonment and are to serve a minimum of 17 years.

A third person, Joanna Moriarty, aged 29, of Mortimer Road, Rose Hill, was found not guilty of murder.

Denis Witney, aged 39, was attacked as he slept in a house on St Clement's Street, east Oxford, on 09 November 2011.

He was found, by police, dying in the street and died in the John Radcliffe Hospital shortly afterwards. He had 26 separate injuries.

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since this investigation was launched. This was a particularly brutal and savage attack, which led to the untimely death of Denis Witney.

"The jury found McCollin and Cattell guilty of murder despite their denials.  The CPS praises the strength and courage of Denis' mother who sat through the trial and listened to the horrific details of how he died.

"As a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved for the victim and his family and friends. We hope that the conviction and sentence will in some way help them come to terms with this tragic event and move forward with their lives.

"However, no matter how long the prison sentences are, we acknowledge that nothing can make up for the loss felt by the family and friends of Denis and our thoughts are very much with them at this time."

Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Detective Chief Inspector Steve Tolmie said: "We are pleased with the guilty verdicts today.

"Denis Witney was vulnerable, asleep and unable to defend himself when he was set upon for no reason.

"They repeatedly punched and kicked him about the head and upper body and then left him outside wearing nothing but his underwear.

"This was a callous attack that left a mother without a son and our thoughts very much remain with all the family and friends of Denis Witney."