Family speak of love for Eric as killer is jailed

Murderer Daniel Eckersall
Murderer Daniel Eckersall

The family of a man murdered by his flatmate have paid tribute to him after his killer was jailed for a minimum of 18 years.

Daniel Eckersall, 32, of Withington Lane, Aspull was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday to life imprisonment after a jury unanimously found guilty of the brutal killing and robbery of Eric Caddick.

Eric Caddick

Eric Caddick

The 61-year-old victim’s family today broke their silence to pay tribute to him.

In a statement released through the police, they said; “Eric was much loved by all his family and friends.

“He was taken from us in March following a terrible attack on him in November last year.

“He was attacked in completely unnecessary circumstances.

Eric is missed every minute of every day. He was vulnerable and preyed upon by people he thought were his friends

Family statement

“We cannot express how devastated we are that his life has been stolen from him.

“Eric is missed every minute of every day. He was vulnerable and preyed upon by people he thought were his friends.

“Today the man responsible has been sentenced, and justice has been served.

“We can try to repair our heartache although no matter how long the sentence is, it will not bring Eric back or make our loss any easier.

“We need to attempt to move on and hopefully today will now provide closure for our pain over the last year, however, we will never forget Eric or the many memories he has given us.

“On behalf of the family, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Greater Manchester Police, and the Crown Prosecution Service for their continued support and professionalism in this matter.”

On the morning of Wednesday November 25 2015, Eckersall and Mr Caddick had an argument following a night of drinking at their home address on Withington Lane.

Eckersall, who had started the argument, lashed out at Eric, stamping on him and leaving him in a heap on the ground.

He left him lying there for nine hours before calling an ambulance from a nearby phone box. During this time, Eckersall withdraw £800 for Eric’s bank account which he later spent on drink and drugs.

He was taken to Wigan hospital and transferred to the intensive care unit but never regained consciousness and died on Sunday, March 13, 2016.

Prior to his arrest for murder, Eckersall met with a number of friends and recalled to them how he had been drinking heavily and taken cocaine on the night he assaulted the 61-year-old. He also gave them disturbing details of how he attacked Eric.

Another flatmate, Geoffrey Cunliffe, 48, was earlier this week acquitted of Mr Caddick’s murder and another defendant, Gavin Jones, 48, of Lancaster Road, Hindley, was cleared of robbing the victim.

After the hearing Det Sgt Nigel Rigby from GMP’s Wigan borough said: “Eric’s death was tragic and came as a result of a completely unnecessary incident with a man that he lived with and considered a friend.

“His death has had a huge impact on his family, and they are still trying to come to terms with his death.

“Although it won’t bring Eric back, I hope the sentence passed here today will help them begin to rebuild their lives following their devastating loss.”