Steven McMyler murder trial: Court hears how girl, 14, tried to save victim's life after fatal attack

A murder trial has heard how a pair of passing teenagers fought in vain to save the life of a dad-of-two as he lay dying in a Wigan church garden.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:24 pm

Steven McMyler, 34, was targeted as he sat on a bench within the grounds of Wigan parish church in the early evening of August 6 last year.

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Shortly before, he had been drinking outside The Raven pub in Wallgate with 29-year-old Lewis Peake, who allegedly recruited four males from Merseyside - Jordan Short, 20, Michael Wilson, 20 and two youths aged 14 and 17 - to help him rob the £11k 18-carat Submariner watch Mr McMyler was wearing.

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Steven McMyler

At Manchester Crown Square today (April 21), jurors were shown CCTV footage of the fatal kick to Mr McMyler’s head, before hearing from a teenaged girl who performed CPR on him for more than 15 minutes.

Fighting through tears, the girl, who was 14 at the time, described how she and a friend encountered the horrifying scene as they cut through the church gardens towards Wigan bus station.

As they passed through, an elderly man was already standing over Mr McMyler, and urged them to call 999.

She said: “When I walked over to him he was face down on the floor. I went over to him and tapped him to see if he was okay. I got no response from him.”

Tributes to Mr McMyler after his death

She told prosecutor Mark Ford QC there was blood “all over” Mr McMyler, coming from his face and nose, and that “he looked like he was turning purple.”

“I turned him over because his mouth kept filling with blood. I started patting his back to try bringing it all up. That’s when I started CPR on him,” she said.

The girl then checked for his pulse, which she said was weak, and the other friend called 999. Mr McMyler’s eyes “rolled back” while the chest compressions were being carried out and, tragically, the girl could not find a pulse when asked to check again by the 999 dispatcher.

Giving evidence in a written statement, the other witness said: “As we turned him over, I saw his eyes roll and he stopped coughing. I think he died then.”

The trial is taking place at Manchester Crown Square

They went on: “His skin went very white although his neck was very purple.

“He was definitely alive when we got there because he was still coughing.”

They then took it in turns to carry out CPR until the paramedics arrived, and emergency aid was continued until 8.12pm, when Mr McMyler was sadly declared dead.

As the teenagers spoke to police at the scene following the death, they found a bank card on the floor, bearing Peake’s name, the court heard.

Police cordon off the scene in August 2020

Jurors had earlier been shown CCTV of the moments leading up to the attack, and the fatal blow that followed.

In the footage, the four male could be seen walking towards Wigan town centre, having just arrived in the town via Wallgate station.

As they headed up Wallgate, they passed two school boys who, just moments earlier, had backed out of Peake’s alleged plot to rob Mr McMyler.

They then headed into the church gardens, and a short discussion between them and Peake took place. Grainy footage then captured the attack on Mr McMyler as he was surrounded by the group, with the fatal blow allegedly being delivered by Short.

Matters then took a turn as Mr McMyler lay dying, when the Merseyside group turned on Peake. One of them, believed to be the youngest defendant – aged 13 at the time – struck him over the head with a bottle as they demanded cash.

As a bleeding Peake ran away, they too dashed from the church, and took a taxi back to Merseyside. Peake, meanwhile, headed down Library Street, pulling along Mr McMyler’s suitcase with him.

He could be seen clutching his head with his free hand, and approached two ladies in the street, who flagged down a passing ambulance.

Peake, of James Street, Little Lever, Bolton; Wilson, of Northfield Close, Kirkby, and the two youths, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, all deny murder, an alternative count of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob.

Jurors were told on the first day of the trial that Short was unwell and unable to participate in the proceedings.

The trial continues.

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