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21 September 2012, 12:30
A Kettering man who tied up and beat his victim to death has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Phillip Haslam, 36, of Gloucester Close, Kettering was today (21st September), sentenced at Northampton Crown Court for the murder of John Kiernan.
He has been told that he will serve at least 32 years behind bars, after a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.
Mr Haslam was also sentenced to eight years for robbery and 40 months for two burglaries.
John Kiernan, aged 62, from havelock Street, kettering was discovered dead in his house by police on 1 October 2011, having been tied up, beaten and hit several times with a blunt object.
Mr Haslam, who aditted burgling Mr Kiernan's house twice in the weeks leading up to the murder but denied committing the murder itself.
In the days after the murder, police found a pair of trainers and gloves with traces of Mr Kiernan’s blood at a house in Gloucester Close where Mr Haslam was staying.
Mr Haslam also admitted a separate incident on 1 September 2011, where another vulnerable man – aged 62 from Kettering – was savagely robbed.
During this incident, Mr Haslam’s girlfriend, Christine Windle, 37, of Gloucester Close, lured the man to a block of flats where Phillip Haslam repeatedly hit him over the head with a hammer, causing head injuries and breaking his fingers.
They then stole his bank card, which was later used to withdraw cash.
Both Phillip Haslam and Christine Windle plead guilty to this offence. Christine Windle also plead guilty to a separate offence of handling stolen goods belonging to Mr Kiernan. She was sentenced to six years for robbery and two years for handling stolen goods.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Woliter, who led the investigation, said:'Mr Kiernan was a vulnerable and lonely man who was targeted by Phillip Haslam in August and September 2011, repeatedly burgling his house.
'He used fear and violence to steal money from Mr Kiernan to fund his spiralling drug and alcohol habit.
'On 19 September 2011, when Mr Kiernan tried to resist Phillip Haslam's demands and threats, he was ultimately subjected to a brutal and savage attack where he was tied up and beaten to death.
'I welcome today's sentence which resulted in Phillip Haslam being sentenced to life imprisonment.
'My thoughts are with Mr Kiernan's family during what has been a difficult year. Whilst horrendous cases like this are rare, the sentence today shows that those who commit crime will be bought to justice.'