Steven McMyler murder trial: Suspect told police he had 'zero' involvement in fatal incident
A man accused of orchestrating a fatal attack on Steven McMyler in the grounds of Wigan Parish Church told police he had “zero” involvement in the death.
Mr McMyler died in the church grounds after being kicked in the head with a “substantial level of force” on the evening of August 6 2020.
It is alleged that the 34-year-old was the victim of a plot to rob his expensive Rolex watch.
Five males have been charged in connection with the attack.
Today at Manchester Crown Square, jurors in the murder trial heard how Lewis Peake, who prosecutors say was the mastermind of the robbery plot, told police he played no part in Mr McMyler’s death.
Peake, 30, was arrested at an address in Standish, hours after Mr McMyler was pronounced dead at the scene in the church gardens.
He was taken to Wigan police station where he was questioned by Detective Constable Terina Arthern about the incident.
When asked by DC Arthern what his involvement in the murder of Steven McMyler was, he replied: “Zero.”
He went on: “A group of four, maybe five lads, kicked him in the head, once. I think he was trying to take a bit of cocaine, he was crouched down. I assumed that just knocked him out. One of them turned around to me and said ‘give me all your money, I’m going to shank you’.
“He took about £220 out of my pocket in cash, and as I was handing over some money, they were checking my other pockets for any more money. I felt the hardest smash around the side of my head and I think I was bottled. I’m not really sure, I was quite confused after that.”
He added: “I thought Steve was alright. They took his watch off his wrist.”
Peake went on to tell the police that he had only met Mr McMyler for the first time earlier that day, and began drinking with him after recognising a woman Mr McMyler was with. He said the pair discussed Mr McMyler’s plan to go to Thailand, which he had changed his mind on, before discussing the Submariner watch he was wearing.
Peake then told the police he and Mr McMyler left the pub and went into the Parish church yard, to “roll a smoke.”
He then alleged that a group of young men approached the pair, but that he did not notice them until they were quite close. Peake said Mr McMyler had been crouched down and leaning forward on a bench when one of the group kicked him in the head.
The prosecution alleges that Peake had offered the males cash to assault Mr McMyler so that he could steal his watch.
Peake immediately left the scene with Mr McMyler’s suitcase. He could not explain why he took the suitcase but insisted he was not planning to sell its contents.
Peake insisted to police: “You can ask me whatever you want. I’ve not killed no one, so I’m really not that bothered now. I haven’t done anything to anyone.”
Peake, 30, of James Street, Little Lever, Bolton; Michael Wilson, 20, of Northfield Close, Kirkby, and two youths, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, all deny murder, an alternative count of manslaughter and conspiracy to rob. Jordan Short, 20, of Rushey Hey Road, Kirkby, will face court at a later date due to illness. He denies the same charges.
The trial will continue on Thursday April 29.
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