Addict gets life for murder but woman who took selfies beside corpse cleared

A man has been jailed for life after he was found guilty of murdering a former teacher, but a woman who took selfies next to the corpse has been cleared.

Addict gets life for murder but woman who took selfies beside corpse cleared

Drug addict Christopher Sawyers, aged 36, gave former teacher and soldier Kenneth Chapman, 48, a “very large dose of heroin” so he could steal from him.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court yesterday found him guilty of Mr Chapman’s murder but cleared his 23-year-old fellow addict Kirsty Edmondson of the same charge.

Sawyers was also found guilty of manslaughter in relation to the death of a former accountant who was killed by a cocktail of drink and drugs last July.

He had admitted theft and fraud offences in relation to Mr Chapman’s death.

Both Sawyers and sex worker Edmondson blamed each other for the death of Mr Chapman after they spent days “sporadically” living with the corpse while they stole from him.

The pair posed for pictures taken as his body decomposed in the same room and even went on to film themselves having sex in his bed at his home in Eccles, Greater Manchester.

Sawyers was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 33 years, while Edmondson was sentenced to three years after admitting theft and fraud charges.

Prosecutor Tony Cross QC said the body of Mr Chapman was not found at his rented flat in Bridgewater View for 15 days after he met his death on December 28 last year.

The court heard that Mr Chapman’s death was “inextricably linked” to that of former accountant Peter Clark last year. The 50-year-old died at his home in Ancoats, Greater Manchester, from a cocktail of alcohol, diazapam and an overdose of heroin injected by Sawyers. He was said not to have intended to kill Mr Clark, but did use his phone and debit card following his death. The Crown said Sawyers realised an opportunity existed to profit from his death which led him to kill Mr Chapman.

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox