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Student serving life for murder of Fakenham man fails in appeal to be set free

PUBLISHED: 17:54 25 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:54 25 July 2018

Fakenham murder victim Steven Murphy. Picture: LIBRARY.

Fakenham murder victim Steven Murphy. Picture: LIBRARY.

Archant © 2009

A criminology student serving for life after a ‘revenge’ killing in Nofolk has failed to convince top judges to set him free.

Scene at Kings Road, Fakenham
Steven Murphy caseScene at Kings Road, Fakenham Steven Murphy case

Alexander Ryan Philip Dewar, of St James Road, was convicted of the murder of 45-year-old Fakenham man, Steven Murphy.

The 32-year-old received a life sentence at Norwich Crown Court in December 2010 and was ordered to serve a minimum term of 25 years behind bars.

In June 2009, Mr Murphy attacked James Cameron, Lady Justice Macur told London’s Appeal Court today.

The prosecution case was that Cameron and his son, Andrew Cameron, sought revenge on Mr Murphy.

Andrew Cameron recruited Dewar to take part in the ‘revenge attack’ and the duo drove to Fakenham from Blackpool.

Eye-witnesses saw two men outside Mr Murphy’s front door in King’s Road on September 30 2009.

He was stabbed to death with multiple wounds to his face, torso and arms.

James Cameron, 53, was convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm and got a 15-year jail term.

Andrew Cameron, 28, was found guilty of murder and received the same sentence as Dewar.

Dewar admitted travelling to Fakenham with Andrew Cameron but denied being present at the murder scene.

Today his barrister, Lisa Wilding QC, argued that his conviction was ‘unsafe’ and should be overturned.

There was cell site evidence which could potentially support his defence of not being with Andrew Cameron at the time of the killing, she argued.

And material had not been disclosed which could have suggested an alternative candidate was the second man at the murder scene, the QC claimed.

But Lady Justice Macur, who was sitting with two other judges, said the cell site evidence amounted to ‘nothing more than speculation’.

And the suggestion that someone else could have been the second man was also ‘entirely speculation’.

Dewar had made ‘confessions’ about the killing to fellow students at Blackpool College where he was studying criminology, the judge added.

“We consider these particular confessions to have been compelling and would be so to any jury having heard the evidence in the case.”

“There is nothing that renders us in any way unsure as to the safety of this conviction,” concluded Lady Justice Macur.

The appeal was dismissed.

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