Men and boys howl after being found guilty of graveyard killing

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Two men and two teenage boys have been found guilty of manslaughter over the death of Wigan man Steven McMyler.

The 34-year-old joiner, from Marsh Green, was found with serious injuries in the grounds of Wigan Parish Church on August 6 last year.

He was later pronounced dead by medics.

Today Lewis Peake, 30, from Little Lever, Bolton and his three Merseyside co-accused were found guilty of the manslaughter of Mr McMyler, the MEN reports.

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Peake was said to have recruited a so-called 'Liverpool Four' to attack Mr McMyler and take his Rolex watch – worth more than £11,000.

Michael Wilson, 20, of Northfield Close, Kirkby, and two teenage boys aged 14 and 17 who cannot be named for legal reasons, were found guilty of both manslaughter and conspiracy to rob by jurors at Manchester Crown Court this afternoon.

Due to illness, a fifth defendant – Jordan Short, 20, of Rushey Hey Road, Kirkby – is due to face court at a later date. He denies manslaughter as well as conspiracy to rob.

When the jury gave its verdict relatives of the defendants wept and howled in court.

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The jury had heard that Mr McMyler travelled by train from Wigan to London with the intention of flying out to Thailand, before returning to Wigan last August 6 after changing his mind.

He spent time drinking in Wigan town centre with Peake in the hours leading up to his death.

Two schoolboy witnesses described the moment Peake offered them £100 each to 'batter' Mr McMyler, before they left feeling scared.

A crime scene investigator works at the scene, in the gardens of Wigan Parish Church, on the day of Steven McMyler's death

Prosecutors said Peake then approached the group from Merseyside, who were seen on CCTV arriving in Wigan by train, to carry out the assault – before one member of the group turned on Peake, hitting him over the head with a glass bottle.

After the attack, Peake took Mr McMyler's suitcase and telephone before getting the attention of a passing ambulance to discuss his own injuries, but he refused to be taken to hospital.

Peake returned to the home of Cassandra Hill, in Standish, who told court that he had 'confirmed he set out to rob a watch' to her.

Jurors retired to consider their verdicts on Monday afternoon, and had been asked to return a unanimous verdict.

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Having been unable to do so by this morning, Judge Mark Turner allowed the jury to return a majority verdict of 10-1, with the 12th juror having been released from her duties on Tuesday.

The four are due to be sentenced on Friday, June 11.

After giving their verdict, Judge Turner told the jury: "You have clearly concentrated on the evidence and over the period of the last few weeks you have discharged your duty.

"The sentence to be passed onto these defendants will wait until June 11, bearing in mind the age of two of the defendants, and the desire of Wilson to equip me with a report to help me decide on the appropriate sentencing."

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