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Crown Prosecution Service Statement: R v Andrew Blaine

22/10/2009

Bernard Byrne, district crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Cheshire, said: "This was a very harrowing and complex case.

"Kevin Walsh had physical disabilities, which affected his mobility. He trusted Andrew Blaine - enough to give him access to his post office account and to his home. The men regularly spent time socialising and watching TV together.

"When assessing the case we had to take into account all the evidence and information available. The prosecution case was that Mr Walsh died after a sustained assault at the hands of Mr Blaine, the most likely motive for which was an argument over the post office account.

"Where there is evidence available to prove that an offence is aggravated by hostility based on the victims disability, we will do our utmost to ensure that that evidence is put before the court for sentencing purposes.

"In this case, we considered very carefully whether we could prove that the assault was motivated by hostility based on Mr Walsh's disability, but we decided we had insufficient evidence to do so.

"Andrew Blaine was prosecuted, convicted and received a minimum of 17 years imprisonment for the murder of Kevin Walsh. The court took into account the fact that the victim was disabled and that he was caused physical suffering before death."

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