Warrington man sentenced to life in prison for murder
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A Warrington man found guilty of murder has been jailed for life in prison with a minimum term of 19 years.
On Thursday 10 August James Ireland, 41, of HMP Risley appeared at Liverpool Crown Court to be sentenced after being found guilty of murder last month. He was found not guilty of possession of a bladed article.
On the evening of 22 December 2022, James Ireland knocked on the door of Billy Moore’s Yardley Avenue home seeking a confrontation after his two young relatives told him that a man fitting Billy’s description had shouted at them in the street a few minutes earlier.
Ireland launched a deadly attack on Billy Moore, stabbing him numerous times on his doorstep. Billy tried to defend himself, but Ireland continued to stab him repeatedly to the chest, neck and head. He then left Billy, at the point of collapse, bleeding in the hallway. Billy died a short time later of multiple stab wounds, despite the best efforts of paramedics to save him. Ireland's two young relatives witnessed the killing and afterwards, as he walked away from the scene, he told them not to say anything before attempting to cover his tracks and hiding from police.
An investigation was launched and detectives from Cheshire Constabulary's Major Investigation Team worked tirelessly over the Christmas period to secure vital evidence which led to James Ireland being charged with the murder of Billy Moore on the 26 December 2022. The investigation continued over the following months, with detectives conducting searches and piecing together Ireland's movements both before and after the offence through CCTV, witness evidence and examination of mobile phone data.
Senior Investigating Officer DI Eli Atkinson said: “Ireland disposed of the knife and his blood stained clothing, which was never found, and kept a low profile before eventually handing himself in with a concocted story – a story which we were able to disprove as we made our enquiries. He maintained throughout his trial that he had acted in self-defence, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
“The level of violence he used in response to a minor incident was entirely disproportionate and resulted in Billy Moore losing his life. Billy’s murder had a huge impact on those close to him and on the local community, particularly happening only a few days before Christmas. I hope that the sentence imposed will bring some closure to Billy's family, loved ones and friends and I would like to thank all those within the local community who supported the investigation and all of the officers from across Cheshire Constabulary who were involved."
After Ireland was found guilty of murder, Billy’s family said: “We want to thank each person that has offered kindness, support, and prayers on behalf of our family. That support is deeply felt and appreciated.
“We sincerely appreciate the love and kindness shown to Billy from all those who tried to save him, those who sought justice for him and those who showed bravery and maturity beyond their years in coming forward to tell the truth.
“While today's verdict will ensure that no other family suffers from the pain and violence James Ireland brought into our lives, we will never get Billy back and we are left with grief and sorrow. Our family will always grieve the loss of Billy."