Murderers tell court "they've got it wrong" as they begin life sentences

TWO men have been jailed for life for the murder of a man found dead in his Rotherham home.
Nathan Fensome (left) and Barry Plant.Nathan Fensome (left) and Barry Plant.
Nathan Fensome (left) and Barry Plant.

Barry Plant (36) and Nathan Fensome (28) were convicted this afternoon (Wednesday) of killing Steven Fretwell, who was found beaten to death at his flat in Kingswood Avenue, Laughton en le Morthen.

They were both given life sentences by Judge Peter Openshaw at Sheffield Crown Court.

Plant, of Sandymount Road, Wath, was ordered to serve a minimum term of 30 years behind bars and Fensome a minimum of 27 years.

Fensome’s brother, Ashley Fensome (21), was cleared of murder.

Nathan shouted as he was taken down: “You’ve just made a big mistake,” while Plant said: “I didn’t do it, you’re wrong.”

Passing sentence Judge Openshaw said: “Despite Mr Fretwell’s sad and chaotic lifestyle, he will be greatly missed by his mother.”

He added: “She does not wish her victim personal statement to be read out but the gist can be summarised as she says she’s now left with nothing but a broken heart.”

Judge Openshaw said Plant had climbed through Mr Fretwell’s ground floor flat window and then he and Fensome “launched a brutal and determined attack” in a dispute that was probably centered around “drug misconduct”.

Mr Fretwell (47) was found to have suffered more than 70 injuries. 

A pathologist said it appeared he had been beaten with a blunt instrument.

“I do not doubt Plant was doing someone else’s dirty work,” Judge Openshaw added.

“I also do not doubt that in some way he recruited Nathan Fensome to come along to help him.”

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Fretwell's mum Elaine said: "We are as a family grieving for the sad and sudden loss of our son, brother, nephew and friend Steven.

"My son Steven, though not perfect, was a wonderful person with a love for life. He did not deserve to die in such a brutal and tragic manner.

"Words can not express our suffering and nothing can bring my son back.

"We would like to thank many people who have stood by us through this difficult time.

"We would also like to thank the police investigators, headed by detective inspector Steve Handley and his team for their tireless efforts to bring my son's murderers to justice."

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