A YOUNG Wigan man who strangled his next door neighbour with a washing line and then callously threw his body in a wheelie bin, has been jailed for life.
Sentencing 25-year-old James Jepson, a judge described it as “a dreadful killing, significantly aggravated by your conduct after Steven Rourke was dead. It was as extreme as it was violent.”
The victim’s heartbroken mum, Christine Rourke, wrote to the court saying: “I feel like his dignity was taken away after being put out in the bin like rubbish.”
Jepson, also known as Kelly, who had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs, went out partying hours after the horrific killing and boasted to a virtual stranger and his brother what he had done.
The 26-year-old victim, described as “gentle, loving and caring”, was a gay schizophrenic with a fetish of auto-erotic asphyxiation and the jury heard it was a tragic irony that he died from strangulation. Jepson’s washing line was so tightly wrapped around his neck four times and tied with a double knot that it equalled an 11 to 12ins collar size.
Jepson, of Bickershaw Lane, Hindley, denied the murder but was convicted by a Liverpool Crown Court jury after a nine-day trial.