Martin Wilson, 38, has been found guilty of stabbing Stephen Riley in Athersley on the evening of 26 June.
Emergency services were alerted to a critically injured Stephen by a resident in Darley Avenue, after he had banged on their window, pleading for help and crying out that he’d been stabbed.
Police and paramedics found Wilson’s victim slumped over a garden wall, unconscious and not breathing. He had been stabbed twice. The 43-year-old was taken to Barnsley hospital but sadly succumbed to his injuries shortly afterwards, at 12.04am on 27 June.
Throughout the week-long trial, the court heard how on the evening he was attacked, Stephen visited Wilson at home shortly before 11pm.
Neighbours overheard the pair arguing before Stephen left on foot. CCTV then captures Wilson first going inside the property, before angrily getting on his bike and following his victim.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Jude Ashmore explains more, she said: “Wilson’s account of what happened next has always been completely implausible. He desperately tried to cover his tracks by telling a series of lies and feigning ignorance. I am very pleased that the jury saw through this.
“We know that Wilson caught up with Stephen after he left the address in Monsal Crescent, and the two got into a fight. Wilson has always maintained that he didn’t realise he’d stabbed Stephen until he read about it on Facebook the following day. However, both wounds were inflicted with such force that this couldn’t have been true.”
Phone records show that as Stephen went looking for help, Wilson called his girlfriend, Julie Evans, who met him close-by before they both went and disposed of the murder weapon. Wilson then hid his bike the following day.
Police detained Wilson on Sunday 28 June on suspicion of murder. His accomplice, 41-year-old Evans, was also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender. Both were quickly charged as detectives immediately disproved their account that they’d stayed in together all evening.
DCI Ashmore continued: “Through piecing together witness accounts and CCTV footage, we were able to quickly determine that the accounts Evans and Wilson had put forward were completely false. I would like to thank my team for working so hard on this investigation and building such a strong case so quickly.
“My thoughts now remain with Stephen’s family, who I hope can find some closure in today’s verdict.”
The jury deliberated for five hours and one minute before finding Wilson, formerly of Monsal Crescent, guilty of murder. He will return to court for sentencing on Thursday (17 December).
Evans, also formerly of Monsal Crescent, pleaded guilty to the charge against her on 8 December and will be sentenced on 21 December.