A man who told his boss he had not turned up at work because he had committed a murder has been jailed for life.
Ian Robertson, 33, stabbed Robert Sempey, 38, in the throat, head and body after a row at the defendant’s home in Haydock, Merseyside, when they came back from the pub on January 19.
As Mr Sempey lay dying, Robertson recorded him on his mobile phone and could be heard talking to him.
The defendant and his partner, Kirsty Jervis, 31, then moved his body into the garden of the property in Beilby Road and covered it with two doors, said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
But police were alerted on January 21 by Robertson’s employer, Anthony Millward, who received a number of WhatsApp messages from him.
Mr Millward messaged: “Is everything OK mate? Alex said that you wasn’t in work today because of a family emergency? X”. To which Robertson replied: “If you want the truth mate, I murdered someone in my house last night so now need to fix it. XXXX”
Robertson went on to tell him that Mr Sempey was in the garden and he even went on to send him a photograph of his victim’s blood-stained body.
On Thursday, Robertson was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court and ordered to serve a minimum of 21 years in jail before he can be considered for parole.
Jervis was jailed for two years and eight months for assisting an offender.
Both defendants pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the offences.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Sempey’s sister Michelle wrote: “He was a funny, loving father, brother and uncle. We were all that close that when we hadn’t heard from him by the Saturday myself and Mandie (other sister) knew something bad had happened to him, we could feel it.
“The day we found out what had happened destroyed my family – the Three Amigos became two. I had to explain to my four children that their wonderful, loving uncle had been murdered and was never coming home.
“I then had to sit his daughter down and tell her that her dad had gone to Heaven. He used to say to her, ‘who’s the best team in the world, babe?’, and she would say, ‘we are dad’.
“I don’t think my family will ever be able to get over this and move on.”
Following sentence, Mersey-Cheshire CPS senior prosecutor Sarah Gray said: “This is one of the most disturbing cases I have ever had to deal with.
“Both Robertson and Jervis pleaded guilty to the offences, sparing Mr Sempey’s relatives and the jury from having to hear the dreadful recording of his last moments.
“The reason why Robertson killed Mr Sempey has not been established. At one point, the men seemed to be getting along well but that deteriorated.
“My thoughts are with Robert Sempey’s family and the Crown Prosecution Service extends condolences to them at this very difficult time.”