Jamie McMahon’s family has said time will not heal the pain of his death, after one of his attackers was found guilty this morning of murder and robbery.
Northamptonshire Police have issued a statement on behalf of Jamie’s family in response to the verdict:
It reads: “Now that the past 10 months and a painful chapter in our lives is over and has ended with a successful prosecution, we are not celebrating, as in this case there are no winners only losers – although we have lost the most, our dearly loved son and brother, Jamie.
“Jamie was loved by everyone who knew him and was the life and soul of the party. He was the king of the one-liner and would go out of his way to help others before himself.
“On the 1st of October last year, Jamie left home with the intention of playing snooker with his friends, having a few pints and then returning home. But he never came home.
“Words can never describe the anguish and worry our family endured, hearing of a person being found in a churchyard and then being told that our loving son had been brutally murdered.
“A day never goes by when we don’t think of Jamie. We will never see the day when he would get married, he was never given the opportunity to start a family and become a loving father and husband.
“People say time is great healer, but in this case it never will be. As a family, we are broken, and a large piece of us is missing.
“We would like to thank all the people who have helped us through this difficult time, from our fantastic family and friends, including Jamie’s friends and the wider community, to the police officers and backroom staff for the incredible amount of work they have done to get justice for Jamie. We would also like to say a special thank you to Detective Constable Dave Melling, who has been at our side throughout.
“We respectfully request that our family is now left alone so we can try to come to terms with the tragic loss of Jamie.”
Michael Francis (pictured above in custody), aged 33, of St James Road, Northampton, was this morning (Thursday) found guilty of both the murder and robbery of Mr McMahon.
Mr McMahon’s body was found in St Giles Churchyard in the town centre on October 2 last year.
Francis had denied murder and robbery during a nine-day trial at Northampton Crown Court.
Mark Lewis (pictured left in custody), aged 19, of Clickers Drive, Upton, Northampton, has already admitted killing the 26-year-old snooker club worker.
During the trial the court heard that Mr McMahon had been sitting on a bench in the churchyard shortly after 2am when he was attacked.
He tried to run away but had been forced to the ground and kicked at least seven times with ‘sufficient force’ in the head.
Mr McMahon suffered a fractured eye socket and an imprint of the sole of a trainer was left on his head.
He was left dead by the side of the path and his iPhone, wallet and cash were stolen.
The jury retired to consider its verdict at 11.30am on Wednesday morning. After hours of deliberation it reconvened on Thursday morning and returned a verdict of guilty on two charges.
Jurors were offered the option of finding Francis guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, but were convinced by the evidence that the offence was murder.
Both are due to be sentenced at Northampton Crown Court on Friday, August 1 and have been told they will be sentenced as if jointly responsible and should expect life imprisonment.