Teenager sentenced to life for murder

Robert Heneghan (below) and the murder scene on Dean Street, Blackpool. BOTTOM: Victim Sam Bee.
Robert Heneghan (below) and the murder scene on Dean Street, Blackpool. BOTTOM: Victim Sam Bee.
0
Have your say

A TEENAGER – dubbed the “Imp of Satan” when he was just 10 years old – has been jailed for life after murdering a “mate” at a party.

Robert Heneghan became the youngest person to be given an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) in Britain nine years ago when he waged a campaign of terror on his neighbours in Bispham.

Robert Heneghan

Robert Heneghan

His criminal exploits hit the front pages of The Gazette several times a decade ago.

Now the 19-year-old has been told he must serve a minimum of 19 years in jail after he was convicted of stabbing to death South Shore teenager Sam Bee.

Mr Bee’s heartbroken grandmother, Dorothy Wells said: “My life will never, ever be the same again.”

She added: “Sam’s death has had a very big impact on me and my family.

Victim Sam Bee

Victim Sam Bee

“Sam was only 19 years of age and his life has been tragically cut short.”

The 19-year-old’s death came in the same week his mother, Suzie, died.

His grandmother, who sat in the public gallery throughout the six-day trial at Preston Crown Court, added: “We’ve not only had to deal with Sam’s terrible death but also the death of his mother who died the same week. The only thing that has kept me going is the fact that Suzie, his mum, was not aware of his death.”

The jury took two and a half hours to unanimously convict Heneghan of murder. The killer had earlier described Mr Bee as his “mate”.

The night Mr Bee died, on August 14 last year, he had been celebrating his sister Sarah Bee’s boyfriend’s birthday at a party in her Dean Street flat in South Shore.

During the trial the court heard how things got out of hand after Heneghan and his best friend began fighting – and it was Mr Bee’s attempts to be peace-maker in the argument which ultimately cost him his life.

After everyone else had left the flat Heneghan grabbed a kitchen knife and plunged it into Mr Bee’s chest.

The 19-year-old’s body was discovered hours later in the rear yard of a hotel in an alleyway between Dean Street and Station Road.

Det Supt Paul Withers said Mr Bee had clearly fled in terror in a bid to escape Heneghan’s attack.

He told The Gazette: “It was a couple of seconds of madness and one 19-year-old boy lost his life and another 19-year-old is going to spend a significant period behind bars.

“Sam was a peacemaker – he was trying to intervene to calm things down and Heneghan very quickly turned his attentions on him.

“Despite the defence’s claim it was self-defence it was totally unprovoked.

“Sam was clearly running away from any further attack and he climbed quite a high fence to get away.

“When I first arrived at the scene it was very difficult to comprehend why he had gone over that fence but he was clearly fleeing, terrified.”

The first witness to give evidence in the trial was 21-year-old Miss Bee, who was the only person to see her younger brother stabbed.

Jeremy Grout-Smith, prosecuting, said Miss Bee had lost her “best friend”. He added: “She saw all this before her own eyes and has struggled to cope with the loss since then.”

Det Supt Withers added: “I’m pleased with the verdict for the family, especially when you consider they lost Mr Bee’s mum in the same week.

“But ultimately nothing will bring Sam back. It’s a pointless loss of life and it’s very sad.”

Follow us on twitter @The_Gazette and like our page on facebook to keep up with all the latest news.