Morpeth woman convicted for involvement in murder of disabled man

Nicole Lawrence

Nicole Lawrence

A Morpeth woman has been convicted for her involvement in the murder of a disabled man.

Nicole Lawrence, 20, of The Avenue, in Fellgate Moore, has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice and allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.

James Wheatley

James Wheatley

The verdict comes at the end of an eight-week trial relating to the death of 24-year-old Lee Irving, whose body was dumped by the A1 in June last year in Kenton Bar, Newcastle.

Lee, who had learning difficulties, suffered injuries similar to those usually found on a car-crash victim.

James Wheatley, 28, of Studdon Walk, Newcastle, was found guilty of murder and pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Wheatley murdered his victim in a merciless campaign of violence which resulted in his slow and painful death.

Barry Imray

Barry Imray

Barry Imray, 31, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.

Julie Mills, 50, also of Studdon Walk was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.

Both Mills and Lawrence are being locked up for their own safety ahead of their sentencing hearing.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fairlamb said: “This has been a tragic case for both Lee’s parents and families.

Julie Mills

Julie Mills

“I absolutely have to thank and commend the witnesses and members of the public who came forward in this case. They have undoubtedly helped us seek justice for Lee and his family.

“This has been a truly awful case and to watch the defendants show such little respect and remorse for Lee has been sickening. All Lee ever wanted was friendship.

“This has been a difficult case for the team and I am proud that through their efforts we have had the successful outcome today. I hope today’s outcome helps provide some justice for Lee’s family and we await sentencing.”

Lee Irving

Lee Irving