A Wolverhampton man is facing at least 29 years in after a jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court convicted him of murder today (Wednesday 7 December). Another man also on trial for murder was acquitted.
The court heard how David Watkins, from Clem Atlee Court, Stowlawn, lured father of one Joshua Price to his death on the evening of 27 September 2014.
The 27-year-old had arranged to buy a small quantity of cannabis from Joshua, but never intended to pay for it. He arranged to meet him in Treynham Close, Stowlawn, just after 9pm along with his friend and co-defendant Jake Henson, aged 21 from Wellington Road, Bilston. Both dressed in dark clothing with scarves around their faces and rode to the location on bicycles.
Meanwhile 21-year-old Joshua left his partner to put their two-year-old son to bed, saying he wouldn’t be long. Sadly he would never return.
As soon as Joshua met up with his acquaintances Watkins launched an attack on him, piercing his vital organs with a knife five times. As they ran off, Joshua tried to return home, but collapsed a short distance away.
Meanwhile, Watkins and Henson returned to where he lay and Watkins callously took his only means of calling for help − his mobile phone. A phone which would have revealed the texts between both parties arranging the meet.
As Watkins made his getaway a second time to get rid of evidence, change clothes and concoct an alibi, Joshua was found by a passer-by and two dog walkers. They alerted emergency services, but in spite of open heart surgery being performed at the scene, sadly Joshua could not be saved and he died where he lay.
A major investigation was immediately launched to catch his killer.
Detective Inspector Warren Hines led the enquiry. He said: “We had a very clear picture of the events of that evening from CCTV cameras in the area and witness accounts, but the offender had dressed himself in dark clothing and covered his face, so we had difficulty in identifying him.
“Then at the end of October Henson told his mother a distorted version of the truth about his involvement in Joshua’s death. His mother, who knew Joshua and his family, was put in a difficult situation, but did the right thing and reported what she knew at a police station.
“Henson and Watkins were arrested a short time later.”
Both sought to weave an incredible web of lies, denying being at the location and even blaming each other for what happened that night, but an intensive police investigation uncovered the attempted deception and the jury found Watkins guilty of Joshua’s murder after a three week trial, which also saw Henson acquitted.
DI Hines added: “We will never know the reason for the attack on Joshua, but the tragedy is that Joshua had his whole life ahead of him with his partner and his son and this was cruelly cut short.”
Just after his death Joshua’s girlfriend Megan Campbell, said: “I loved Josh loads…we have been together for four years. He was a great father and partner and will be deeply missed.”
Watkins was sentenced to life in prison and will have to serve at least 29 years before he will be considered for parole.
Source:: West Midlands Police News