Couple 'kissed and laughed' after brutal murder of pensioner who was 'like a father to them'

·4-min read
Couple murder
Kayleigh Halliday, 36, and Shane Myles, 31, beat, stabbed and stamped on pensioner Paul Wakefield. (SWNS)

A couple who kissed and laughed after killing a pensioner who was "like a father" to them face life behind bars for his murder.

Kayleigh Halliday, 36, and Shanes Myles, 31, were described as being 'in raptures' after an horrific attack on Paul Wakefield who was beaten, stabbed with a bottle and stamped on at his home in Folkestone, Kent.

Halliday, formerly of Crown Road, Sittingbourne, had admitted manslaughter but changed her murder plea to guilty midway through a trial and Myles, formerly of Rock Avenue, Gillingham, was found guilty by a jury. The pair are due to be sentenced later this month.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that Wakefield had invited Halliday to stay at his home and on the day of his murder Myles - who had been released from prison just days earlier - arrived at the flat to apologise for stealing his TV.

After bingeing on vodka and cider, he and Halliday launched a ferocious attack on Wakefield, stabbing him with a bottle and beating and stamping on him. They then left, taking his wallet, mobile phone and credit card.

General view of Maidstone Crown Court.
Myles was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court. (Stock image: PA)

Simon Taylor QC, prosecuting, the court the pair had shown no regret but were seen kissing, holding hands and laughing shortly afterwards.

He said: "They were in raptures with each other after that event. They called Mr Wakefield 'dad' yet they betrayed him by beating him to death and stealing from him.

Read more: Man jailed for life for murdering more than 30 years after he was first acquitted of the crime

"The sheer brutality of the assault speaks volumes as to what was going on in the minds of the defendants.

"There was no regret, no arguments, no contrition. Just kissing, holding hands, caressing and laughing. They were in raptures with each other after that event."

Kayleigh Halliday, 36, smashed a bottle over Paul Wakefield's head before stabbing him with a glass shard and stamping on him. (SWNS)
Kayleigh Halliday, 36, smashed a bottle over Paul Wakefield's head before stabbing him with a glass shard and stamping on him. (SWNS)

Myles admitted stamping on Wakefield's head, but denied the more serious charge, alleging the stabbing was carried out by Halliday. But he was convicted of murder by a jury.

The victim was found at 8.50pm on 2 January, with police quickly establishing that Halliday and Myles had been at the property.

They were tracked down and arrested in Folkestone around three hours later. Myles had Wakefield's bank card on him and traces of the victim’s blood were found on both suspects’ shoes.

Myles claimed he had lied about his part in the attack because he did not want to admit what he had done, but prosecutors said he eventually admitted his involvement because there was scientific evidence to prove it.

He said: "I knew it was only a matter of time that the truth would come out. I know it looks bad but I wanted to tell the truth.

"I want the family to know the truth, hard though it would be for them to hear it. I did it for the family of Mr Wakefield. I wanted to be honest.

"It was affecting my mental health and I wanted closure for his family. Only I can tell the truth."

Shane Myles, 31, initially denied being involved in the attack on Paul Wakefield. (SWNS)
Shane Myles, 31, initially denied being involved in the attack on Paul Wakefield. (SWNS)

But the prosecutor told the jury: "What Myles describes as regret, you can be sure is regret for himself and not for Mr Wakefield, or his family as he pathetically testified.

"The evidence is clear that the two defendants beat an unwell man to death in his own home.

"They smashed him over the head with a bottle – possibly a cup as well; they stamped on his head; they “heel-kicked” him to the head; they stabbed him with a broken bottle; at some stage during the incident they took his belongings; and then they left him on the floor of his home - dying."

Following the verdict, Judge Philip Statman praised the police team - who are now set to receive a commendation - for their "excellent" work in solving the murder.

DI Ross Gurden, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "These two offenders carried out an extremely violent and tragically fatal attack on a man who had invited them into his home.

"Despite trying to blame each other for the crime, I am pleased the diligent work of our team means they will both now be sentenced for murder.

"Mr Wakefield’s death was deeply upsetting for his family, friends and the local community and I hope the fact that his killers have been brought to justice provides some solace to those who knew him."