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  1. ITV Report

Life sentences for murder of teenager Matthew Cassidy

David John Woods and Leslie Peter Baines were sentenced to life in prison for the murder Credit: North Wales Police

Two men convicted of murdering a Liverpool teenager on Deeside have been sentenced to life in prison.

David John Woods and Leslie Peter Baines carried out “a savage, sustained and brutal attack” on Matthew Cassidy, 19, from Liverpool.

Mr Cassidy was stabbed nine times on 29 May last year in a block of flats in Connah's Quay in a dispute over drugs.

Mr Justice Clive Lewis told Mold Crown Court he was sure both Woods and Baines went to the flat intending to carry out a joint attack with a knife.

Woods, the leader of a rival drugs gang, changed his plea during the trial and admitted murdering Matthew Cassidy.

He also admitted doing acts intending to pervert the course of justice by providing police with false telephone evidence in a bid to blame it all on Baines.

Baines denied any involvement but was convicted by a jury last month.

The family of Mr Cassidy said he had been Credit: North Wales Police/Family photo

Woods and Baines were described by police as "dangerous and violent men" who were prepared to murder to further their drug dealing activities.

Matthew Cassidy, who was only 19 years of age when he died, had somehow become involved in the drug supply scene and was to pay the ultimate price for this. When a feud broke out between two rival drug supply gangs the two defendants decided to deal with Matthew Cassidy in the most violent means possible.

This is a tragic case which illustrates the dangers of becoming involved not only in drug taking, but drug dealing criminality. I hope that Mathew Cassidy’s family will take some comfort that those responsible for this death are now imprisoned for many years to come.

There can be no place in North Wales for those who enter our communities to supply drugs and use violence. Today’s sentences should re-enforce this message and we hope it will dissuade others.

– Detective Superintendent Iestyn Davies, North Wales Police

Two knives were found nearby, one of which was blood stained and a DNA sample was recovered. Forensic tests carried out led police to Woods.

Emmalyne Downing, of the CPS, said: “The expert evidence in this case had to be carefully pieced together so that a clear picture could be presented to the jury.

Matthew Cassidy was seen on CCTV outside the block of flats where he was killed Credit: North Wales Police

“The CPS provided early advice to the Police and worked closely with them throughout the investigation in order to do so.

“Illegal drugs and knives continue to pose great risks within our communities. Matthew Cassidy lost his life because of them.

“Our thoughts are with Matthew’s family and friends over their loss.”

The mother of Matthew Cassidy said her son had been vibrant, funny, gentle and “so alive”.

In a victim impact statement, Mrs Jane Cassidy said that they had been a normal, happy family and their lives "revolved" around Matthew.

In the statement, she said the day he was murdered their lives changed for ever.

“My heart has been ripped out and broken for ever,” she said.

Grandad James Cassidy said that the day Matthew was murdered, something died inside them all.

It was a big family which had been “completely devastated”, he said.

The court heard how both defendants had long lists of previous convictions.

David John Woods, 20, from Liverpool must serve 27 years and Leslie Peter Baines, 48, from Connah's Quay must serve 26 years before being considered for parole.