Police welcome life sentence after Kettering murder

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Police have spoken of the “brutal and savage attack” which Phillip Haslam was given a life sentence for today (Friday).

Phillip Haslam, 36, of Gloucester Close, Kettering, was today sentenced to life imprisonment at Northampton Crown Court for the murder of John Kiernan.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum tariff of 32 years, after a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict earlier this week.

Mr Haslam was also sentenced to eight years for robbery and 40 months for two burglaries.

John Kiernan, 62, from Havelock Street, Kettering, was discovered dead in his house by police on October 1, 2011, having been tied up, beaten and hit several times with a blunt object by Haslam.

Haslam, who admitted burgling Mr Kiernan’s house twice in the weeks leading up to the murder, 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 Haslam was staying.

Haslam also admitted a separate incident on September 1, 2011, where another vulnerable man – aged 62 from Kettering – was savagely robbed.

During this incident, Haslam’s girlfriend, Christine Windle, 37, of Gloucester Close, lured the man to a block of flats where 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 Haslam and Christine Windle pleaded guilty to this offence.

Christine Windle also pleaded 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.”