A man and woman have been convicted of murder following the death of a man in Skelmersdale.
Deborah Andrews, 44, of Elmstead, Skelmersdale, was found guilty of murdering Eamon Brady at Preston Crown Court today (Friday, February 1) following a trial. William Vaill, 37, of Evington, Skelmersdale, had pleaded guilty to the same offence last month.
Around 7.30am on July 21, Lancashire Fire and Rescue received a report of a fire at Mr Brady’s address in Elmridge.
Inside the property, fire crews found the 44-year-old with a number of injuries to his head and torso. A quilt had been placed on the lower part of his body and set alight.
He was pronounced dead at the scene with detectives from Lancashire Police launching a murder investigation.
Initial enquiries revealed Mr Brady had been with Vaill and Andrews on July 20. CCTV footage showed the pair leaving Mr Brady’s address around 4.50am on July 21, carrying two bags.
Officers traced the pair to a nearby address, where it was revealed they had sold several items belonging to Mr Brady. These included a games console and sound system. Further items belonging to Mr Brady were also found.
Vaill and Andrews were quickly arrested and charged by police.
A post mortem examination later revealed the victim had suffered multiple head injuries, a number of stab wounds to his upper body and neck and significant injuries to his lower body from the fire.
The defendants initially pleaded not guilty but Vaill changed his plea, also admitting a charge of arson with intent.
Andrews, who ran a trial, was convicted of murder and arson with intent.
Both will be sentenced on February 15.
Det Insp Lukmaan Mulla, of Lancashire Police, said: “Vaill and Andrews are clearly extremely dangerous offenders and we welcome today’s decision at court.
“The pair targeted Mr Brady, knowing he was vulnerable. While a clear motive for the murder has never been established, what is clear is that they launched a vicious and prolonged attack causing numerous, horrific injuries.
“Mr Brady’s injuries were among the worst I have seen in my police career. My thoughts remain with his family and friends.
“Vaill and Andrews actions were wicked, cruel and savage.
“Both now face a significant period of time in prison.”