Morpeth woman jailed for involvement in murder

Nicole Lawrence
Nicole Lawrence

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

Nicole Lawrence, 20, of The Avenue, in Fellgate Moore, was sentenced this afternoon at Newcastle Crown Court.

James Wheatley

James Wheatley

She had been found guilty of perverting the course of justice and allowing the death of a vulnerable adult 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 jailed for life after being found guilty of murder. He pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice. The judge ruled he must serve a minimum of 23 years.

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

Barry Imray

Barry Imray

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

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

Wheatley was on Thursday found guilty of murder after repeatedly stamping, kicking and punching the 24-year-old to death in a campaign of merciless attacks.

After yesterday’s verdicts, 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.”

Lee Irving

Lee Irving