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A man has been jailed for life after being convicted of the murder of his ‘friend’ William Phelan in Harpurhey in March 2018.
Matthew Jones (10/12/1978), of no fixed abode, was sentenced today (Monday 1 February 2021) at Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square) to life with a minimum of 20 years in jail after being unanimously convicted by a jury of William’s murder.
The court heard how on the morning of Monday 19 March 2018, police forced entry into William’s home address on Kilnside Drive after reports of concern for his welfare.
Officers discovered William’s body and he was sadly pronounced dead immediately at the scene, aged 39.
Due to the visible injuries on his body, police instantly launched a murder investigation into his death.
While moving his body from the scene, officers found a large kitchen knife under William and a subsequent post-mortem later confirmed William died of multiple stab wounds.
Enquiries from detectives in GMP’s Major Incident Team uncovered several sightings of William with an associate of his, Matthew Jones, who witnesses said was referred to as his brother ‘Will’.
Forensic examiners identified Jones’ fingerprints on the knife found with William’s body before investigators meticulously tracked Jones’ movements back to a secure unit at Prestwich Hospital.
Jones was eventually interviewed and later summonsed to appear in court in July 2019 accused of William’s murder.
He was convicted unanimously by the jury on Wednesday 27 January 2021 before today being sentenced to life with a minimum term of 20 years, having already served 554 days of that sentence on remand.
Detective Inspector Nicola McCulloch, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “This has been a traumatic three years for William’s family who have not only had to suffer such an inconceivable loss, but also patiently wait for justice.
“They have shown such tremendous bravery and dignity throughout and I hope that today’s verdict offers them some closure on the worst time of their lives.
“This was a tragic case where a man murdered someone who was supposed to be his friend and left their loves ones with such insufferable consequences.
“Today’s verdict has ensured that Jones is punished for his shocking and fatal actions, while hopefully getting the treatment he needs.
“This investigation by its nature has had delays and setbacks, not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic, but our dedicated team have ensured throughout that no stone is left unturned and that justice is ultimately delivered for the family and loved ones of William, who will never be forgotten.”