Three people who helped harbour a teenage murderer after he stabbed a father to death have been locked up.
Steven Tucker, 51, died after being repeatedly knifed by Andrew Blood, 17, at a block of flats in Bootle, near Liverpool, on August 1 2015.
Blood, of Bedford Road, Bootle, was jailed for life with a minimum of 12-and-a-half years behind bars after admitting murder.
On Thursday September 29, Blood’s older sister Lindsey Vogel, 36, appeared in the dock, alongside her boyfriend Dean Hughes, 34, who lived together at Wernbrook Road, Anfield and friend Nicola Couch, aged 35, the Liverpool Echo reports .
Henry Riding, prosecuting, told the court how Vogel, Hughes and Blood hatched a plot to find him a safehouse and persuaded Couch to let him stay at her house in Ainsdale Road, Bootle.
A friend of Couch argued with her, telling her not to get involved, but she ignored her wise counselling.
Blood and Hughes spent the night at her home, where Blood was seen with his head in his hands.
Police arrested Blood the following morning, after he returned to his sister’s home.
Couch and Vogel admitted conspiring to assist an offender and to pervert the course of justice.
Vogel pleaded guilty on the opening day of a trial, in which Hughes was found guilty.
Hughes – previously locked up for perverting the course of justice – was released from prison for drug dealing just weeks before.
Julian Linskill, defending Hughes, said he made a decision to help Blood in the heat of the moment.
However, Judge David Aubrey, QC, said Hughes took part in protracted arrangements and stayed with the murderer overnight.
He added: In the course of the trial, your client sought to heap all of the blame on his partner.
Couch and Vogel denied any wrongdoing in pre-sentence reports, but yesterday withdrew their claims.
Gary Lawrenson, defending Vogel, said the uneducated mum-of-three felt enormous shame and regret.
Judge Aubrey said this contradicted the report, adding: It’s very difficult in these circumstances to find an iota of remorse.
Ken Heckle, defending Couch, of Smithy Lane, Scarisbrick, said the single mum-of-three was a victim of domestic violence who had been supported financially by Vogel.
He said she felt obliged to help out.
Judge Aubrey said: This was a sustained offence, with the goal of sheltering a murder suspect overnight.
Jailing Hughes for four years, the judge said he was instrumental in the plot and offered every help to the killer.
Vogel sobbed as he handed her two and a half years behind bars and said: The court is not convinced that you are indeed deeply remorseful.
The court does however accept that in part this offence and your offending was committed out of misguided loyalty.
Jailing Couch for nine months, he said she may have been leaned upon, but you allowed a murder suspect to remain in your house.
Blood’s brother, Kenneth Blood, 33, is currently serving a four years sentence for assaulting Mr Tucker as he lay dying, and hiding the murder weapon, which was never found.
News Source MirrorNews