A Banbury man found guilty of murder was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 19 years today (Friday, March 16).
Raymond Morgan was convicted yesterday of stabbing Mark Pawley to death at his Newland Road flat in October.
But the 53-year-old man was acquitted of killing Adrian Fannon who was also found dead with multiple stab wounds.
Screams of ‘murderer’ were heard from the public gallery as judge Ian Pringle QC sentenced Morgan for the ‘savage and prolonged’ attack.
Sentencing Morgan, he said: “We will never know precisely what took place in the living room of your flat on the morning of Sunday the first of October.
“But one thing is for sure, namely there was extreme violence dealt out to Adrian Fannon and Mark Pawley.”
A heartbreaking statement was read out by Mr Pawley’s sister Jade Pawley who was visibly shaking as she described how the victim’s family has been devastated by the murder.
“There are no words that I have that fit what you Ray Morgan have done to me and my family,” she said.
“Mark was my baby brother but he was also a son, a dad, a grandson, a cousin, a nephew, a godfather and a friend. So many things to so many people.
“On October 1, 2017, my brother was brutally butchered and beaten, there has been no remorse and no care about what happened to him.
“You can sleep, eat, talk, smile and laugh but my brother will never have the chance to do that again.
“He will never be able to make memories with his family and friends or even feel the sun on his face or the air on his skin again.
“You get to open your eyes every day and carry on. It just seems so unfair to me that there will never be any justice for what you have done.”
Ms Pawley explained how her grandfather died just over two months after her 25-year-old brother and her grandmother ‘feels like she has lost everything’.
“Kelly, Mark and I referred to each other as brother and sister, never by our names. Mark towered above us but was always our little brother,” she said.
“Somehow we are going to have to move on without ever saying ‘hey brother’ again.”
A statement from both families given to the Banbury Guardian said they felt ‘let down’ by the justice system and will continue to fight for both ‘innocent human beings’.
“We are united as one and will continue to be forever remembering our beautiful brothers, sons, friends, uncles and father,” it read.
“No parent should ever have to bury their child.”
The court heard how Morgan was addicted to crack cocaine and heroin and was forced to leave the family home in Bretch Hill before finding accommodation in Newland Road.
Mr Fannon and Mr Pawley, also drug addicts, were found dead in the living room with 30 stab wounds between them having stayed at the flat.
The judge said his sentence would take into account how the two knives were used to carry out the ‘savage and prolonged’ attack.
“Why you behaved in such a way, we will never know,” he said to Morgan.
“But I hope this is a lesson to anyone who uses crack cocaine and heroin of the violent mood swings that may be induced from living such a chaotic lifestyle.”
Morgan claimed he stopped Mr Pawley from ‘throttling’ a girl before he hit him with a stool leg when threatened with a knife.
Tracy Ayling QC, defending, said it was possible Mr Pawley and Mr Fannon had a fight and there was no evidence linking Morgan to the knives.
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Craig Kirby, of Thames Valley Police’s major cime unit, said: “Despite overwhelming evidence Raymond Morgan denied any involvement in the murder of Mark Pawley which meant his family had to endure months of uncertainty and pain as the case was prepared for trial.”
“My thoughts go out to the families of both men who died and I would like to thank them for their patience, dignity and support during our investigation and throughout the subsequent trial.”
“This case evidences the very real cost of drug misuse as the court heard how all those involved suffered long term addictions.
“I therefore want to take this opportunity to encourage our communities to work with us to tackle those who unlawfully supply drugs, with more information on how you can do this available via the Op Stronghold section of the Thames Valley Police website.”