BREAKING NORTHRUMBRIA

A vicious thug has been convicted of murder after beating his girlfriend’s uncle to death – and taking a “trophy photograph” of his victim

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Wayne Miller (pictured) brutally attacked 48-year-old Andrew Mather twice on the same night before leaving him for dead inside his Sunderland home.
Miller, 32, even changed his clothes between the two acts of violence on June 2 which left dad-of-three Andrew with unsurvivable head injuries.
The following day, Miller rang 999 from a phone box claiming he had been involved in a fight and that Andrew had been fine afterwards, but that he was now concerned as he was not answering his door.
Emergency services attended Andrew’s address on Aintree Road and found him deceased having suffered severe head trauma and multiple fractures to the bones of his face.
Miller, of Dene Street, Sunderland, handed himself into police later that day but denied murder – claiming self-defence.
Today, following a six-day trial at Newcastle Crown Court, a jury found Miller guilty of murder. He has been remanded in custody until he is due to be sentenced on December 15.
Detective Inspector Graeme Barr, of our Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “This is a tragic case and our thoughts remain with Mr Mather’s family as they attempt to come to terms with their devastating loss.
“This was an appalling act of violence as Miller inflicted fatal injuries on his victim in two separate attacks.
“After the first attack, Miller took a trophy picture of his injured victim on his phone – before leaving the scene, changing his clothes, and then returning to deliver a further and unfortunately fatal attack on Mr Mather, who was by then utterly defenceless.
“His actions were cold and sinister, and I am pleased that his attempts to convince everyone that they were out of self-defence have been dismissed. He has proven himself to be a dangerous individual who has rightly been taken off our streets.
“I hope today’s outcome can offer Mr Mather’s family some kind of comfort at this awful time. We will not tolerate violence of any kind and will continue to use every tactic at our disposal to put violent offenders before the courts.”
The court heard there had been ill-feeling between the families of Miller’s girlfriend and Andrew which came to a head on the evening of June 2.
Neighbours on Aintree Road heard screaming and arguing at Andrew’s home around 7.30pm, with CCTV footage then following Miller’s movements thereafter.
At about 9pm, Miller and his girlfriend were seen walking away from the address – with the defendant wearing shorts and tan boots.
But less than an hour later, Miller had changed into tracksuit bottoms and trainers, and was seen walking back in the direction of Andrew’s address.
The following day, shortly after 11.30am, Miller was seen entering a phone box on Sunningdale Road where he rang 999 and told ambulance staff he had been in a fight, but that Andrew had been fine when he left.
Miller told the call handler that he was now concerned for his welfare, however, as he was not answering the door.
Emergency services attended Andrew’s address and found him deceased with multiple injuries to his head and face consistent with having been punched and kicked or stamped.
Miller claimed his actions were out of self-defence but this was rejected by the jury who today found him guilty of murder.
He is due to be sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court on December 15.