A RUGBY man who killed another man in a ‘senseless and sickening’ attack will spend a minimum of 17 years in jail.
At Warwick Crown Court today (Thursday October 12), Matthew Naysmith, 20, was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.
He was unanimously found guilty by a jury at the same court on September 26, following a week-long trial.
Police and emergency services were called to a house of multiple occupation (HMO) in Newland Street around 6am on September 2, 2021.
On arrival, they found signs of a disturbance and a man – Mark Richmond – unconscious, struggling to breathe, and with significant head injuries.
Naysmith, the only other person living in the HMO at the time, was arrested by officers on suspicion of assault causing grievous bodily harm, while Mr Richmond was taken to hospital with a punctured lung, fractured ribs, and a fractured skull.
Two days later, the 47-year-old sadly died from his injuries and Naysmith was further arrested on suspicion of murder.
During interview, the then 18-year-old denied any involvement in Mr Richmond’s death, claiming the pair had spent the night drinking together and he had woken up the following morning to find Mr Richmond injured.
But parts of Naysmith’s story did not add up, and a crime scene investigation and blood pattern analysis established there had been attempts to clean up the scene before emergency services arrived.
Speaking after the court hearing, senior investigating officer Det Insp Collette O’Keefe said: “I’m delighted with today’s outcome.
“From the moment officers arrived, Naysmith started lying and he never really stopped.
“It was only thanks to the great efforts of our investigative and forensics teams that we were able to get to the bottom of what happened on that fateful night.
“The attack of Mark was senseless, sickening and he did absolutely nothing to deserve it. Naysmith has shown no remorse since the beginning, and I’m grateful we were able to disprove his ridiculous version of events.
“Naysmith may have only been 18 at the time but this act of extreme violence will have devastating long-term consequences for him as well as Mark’s family.
“While we can’t bring him back, I hope knowing Naysmith will have many years in prison to reflect on his irresponsible actions will provide some comfort to his family at this extremely difficult time.“
Mr Richmond’s family added: “We’re glad this has finally come to an end and justice has been done after an incredibly emotional two years.
“Mark didn’t deserve such a violent and brutal end to his life and neither did his children deserve to have their father taken away from them in such tragic circumstances.”