Ipswich: Murderer’s appeal bid thrown out

ONE of two alcoholics convicted of inflicting 228 injuries during the murder of a fellow drinker has failed in a bid to appeal his conviction.

A High Court judge refused Joseph Patrick Heggarty, formerly of Limerick Close, Ipswich, leave to appeal.

The 53-year-old was convicted of the murder of Martin Edwards, who was found dead at his bedsit in Piper’s Court, Ipswich, on Christmas Day 2010.

Heggarty and co-convicted Timothy Bailey, 29, were jailed for life by Ipswich Crown Court after being found guilty of murder.

At their sentencing in November last year Bailey was told he would serve a minimum of 20 years in prison, while Heggarty, who played a lesser part in Mr Edwards’ death, was given a minimum of 14 years.

However, Heggarty asked the Royal Courts of Justice in London to allow him to appeal his conviction on the basis that Judge John Devaux’s directions to the trial jury in respect of the background violence inflicted on Mr Edwards was inadequate.

It was claimed Judge Devaux did not make it clear how the jury should have approached the violence involving Heggarty and Mr Edwards early on Christmas Eve 2010.

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Despite the application Lady Justice Hallett threw out Heggarty’s appeal bid.

Mr Edwards’ naked body was discovered by a neighbour in his blood spattered flat just hours after he had told a friend that it was going to be his “best Christmas ever”.

A post-mortem examination found the 45-year-old had suffered 228 injuries, including 18 broken ribs and a serious head injury, which had been caused by him being kicked, punched and stamped on as well as being hit with pieces of a broken plant stand.

Jailing Bailey and Heggarty for life Judge Devaux described Bailey as the “principal offender”.

The judge said Mr Edwards, who had been described by a friend as “a nice bloke with alcohol issues who was just trying to survive”, had been subjected to a “sustained and brutal beating”.

On the night of Mr Edwards’ killing a number of people, including Bailey and Heggarty, had consumed alcohol and drugs in his flat which was described as a “doss house”.

When Bailey and Heggarty left on Christmas morning Mr Edwards was dead or close to death.

Shortly afterwards a witness described the defendants as being “very happy, as if they’d come from a party” as they went to get a taxi back to Heggarty’s home.

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