Life sentence for Loughborough murder

|News, Violent crime , Drug offences

A Leicestershire man has been jailed for life for the murder of Mark Swinhoe in Loughborough in January 2018.

Harry Matthews (23) stabbed Mr Swinhoe to death after an attempt to rob him and his associates of drugs went wrong. Another involved in the attack, Jamie Wileman (24) was jailed for manslaughter. Christopher Cunningham-Pithouse (24) was jailed for assisting and offender and he and and Paul Williams (39) were also imprisoned for their involvement in the supply of drugs that led to this incident.

Matthews, Wileman and Williams sold drugs supplied by Cunningham-Pithouse. On the night of the attack, Mark Swinhoe and a friend contacted the defendants looking for drugs. Mr Swinhoe planned to rob them of the drugs to avoid paying, so went to the meeting point with his friend and hid before they arrived.

Matthews, Wileman and Williams responded to the call from Mr Swinhoe's friend. In the early hours of the morning they went to meet them to carry out the deal. Matthews took with him a 'Rambo' hunting-style knife he had in his possession. As the three arrived, Mr Swinhoe tried to overpower Matthews, but was quickly overpowered himself. While he was defenceless, Wileman kicked him, stamped on his head and pulled off his prosthetic leg and attacked him with it. Matthews took out his knife and stabbed him repeatedly. Matthews then turned on Mr Swinhoe’s friend, inflicting a facial injury with the knife. All three fled the scene and Matthews contacted Cunningham-Pithouse, who drove him and Wileman away from Loughborough in an attempt to escape detection. On their way out of Loughborough they stopped the car to dispose of the knife and burn Matthews’s bloodstained trousers. Emergency services were called, but Mr Swinhoe died at the scene.

All four were prosecuted for their part in the incident and the supply of drugs. Cunningham-Pithouse pleaded guilty at a hearing on 4 May 2018 . The others were tried at Leicester Crown Court and convicted by a jury. Matthews was today (19 July) sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 27 years. Wileman was sentenced to 12 years. Cunningham-Pithouse was jailed for a total of 12 years, while Williams received an 8-year jail term.

Andrew Baxter from the CPS said: “The CPS takes knife crimes extremely seriously. In possessing and carrying such a vicious knife, the CPS has shown to the court that Harry Matthews’s only purpose was aggression and when he took out the knife, he intended to kill. Whilst it has been accepted all along that Mark Swinhoe initiated the attack, the CPS has presented evidence relating to the excessive violence used on him in retaliation. We proved that Wileman was involved in the attack, that the others were part of the drugs operation that led to this tragic incident taking place and that Cunningham-Pithouse tried to help Matthews and Wileman escape the consequences of their crimes.

“We have made it clear to the court the danger these offenders, Matthews in particular, pose to the community and this is reflected in the sentences handed down. We presented evidence that Matthews had bragged about the attack the following day and demonstrated the high level of culpability in Wileman’s part in the attack.

“I would like to offer my sympathy to those close to Mr Swinhoe for their loss.”

Notes to editors

  • Andrew Baxter is a deputy chief crown prosecutor at CPS East Midlands
  • The defendants were convicted and sentenced as follows:
    • Harry Matthews: Found guilty of murder Pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying class A drugs and possession of a bladed article. Sentenced to life with a minimum term of 27 years
    • Jamie Wileman: Pleaded guilty to supplying class A drugs and was found guilty of manslaughter
    • Christopher Cunningham-Pithouse pleaded guilty to supplying controlled class A drugs and assisting an offender
    • Paul Williams: Found guilty of supplying Class A drugs

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