Louth murder conviction: ‘Murphy is a monstrous and callous individual’

Jailed: Shane Murphy
Jailed: Shane Murphy

A judge and a police chief involved in the Louth murder trial have condemned Shane Murphy, after he was handed a life sentence earlier today (Tuesday).

Shane Murphy, who had been the partner of Marie Gibson for just six weeks at the time of the attack, was ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years before he can be considered for parole.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence at Lincoln Crown Court, told him: “You are a shallow, self-centered and aggressive bully who only thinks of himself.

“You have shown a total absence of remorse and not a shred of human decency. You are utterly incapable of accepting any responsibility for your own actions.”

Murphy appeared by video link from prison for his sentencing but interrupted with an outburst halfway through the hearing.

The judge ordered his removal from the video link room he was sentenced in his absence.

The jury heard that Murphy had previous convictions for assaulting partners and eight days before her death Marie had called police because he turned violent towards her. Murphy had already left by the time officers arrived but Marie told them she was “petrified” of him.

During the trial the jury heard how, after an argument between the two of them in the early afternoon of June 9, Murphy carried out a savage attack in the living room of her home in Lacey Gardens, Louth.

He repeatedly struck her with a baseball bat about the head and face, stamped on her and stabbed her in the throat with a shard of glass from a broken mirror.

The ferocious attack, carried out in front of a young child, left Marie with a fractured skull, brain injuries and horrific facial injuries.

Then, as she lay dying on the floor, Murphy walked out and went to visit his sister nearby. When she was out he made his way to his mother’s home nearby.

Police had been alerted by a 999 call made from Marie’s phone. No-one spoke to the operator but the sound of breaking glass and screams led to officers being sent to the house.

They broke in and discovered Marie dead. Murphy was arrested within an hour of the murder after being spotted leaving his mother’s house. He tried to make a run for it but was detained in Mount Pleasant.

He went on to confess to killing her but denied murder during his claiming his responsibility was diminished because at the time of the killing he was suffering from a mental health condition.

The jury of eight men and four women deliberated for just an hour before returning a verdict that he was guilty of murder.

Murphy, 28, of Little Lane, Louth, did not give evidence during his trial and was absent on a number of occasions.

The hearing was delayed for a day after he refused to get on a van bringing him to court and on other occasions he refused to leave his cell in the court building.

In a series of interviews with police he claimed she had goaded and then attacked him but he was described by the prosecution as an “inveterate liar” who gave a number of different versions of what happened.

Mr Michael Auty QC told the jury: “This attack was both savage and utterly relentless in its nature.

“It was calculated and most chillingly of all it was rational in its execution.”

Marie’s mother Margaret Gibson, in a victim impact statement read out on behalf of herself and her husband Bill, said: “Marie was our youngest child. She will always be our baby.

“She was always the life and soul of the party. She loved to go out dancing and was such a bright and happy person.

“As well as being our wonderful daughter she was just as wonderful as a mum herself.

“It is so difficult to put into words what we both feel and what Marie meant to us.”

After the hearing DCI Karl Whiffen, of East Midlands Police Special Operations Unit, who headed the inquiry said: “It is incredibly tragic.

“This was a savage, savage attack. Murphy is a monstrous and callous individual completely devoid of human emotion.”