Man jailed for life for brutal Scarborough murder

28 November 2011, 16:41 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

A man has been found guilty of a brutal murder in Scarborough. 

John David Stamford, 52, of the town’s Kelia Court, was convicted of murdering Gary Virr following a two-week trial at Leeds Crown Court.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 16 years behind bars before he is considered for parole.

Mr Virr, 48, a former landscape gardener, was found dead by police officers in his ground floor flat at Eastborough, Scarborough, at 7.25pm on 23 December 2010.

Concern about his welfare had been reported to North Yorkshire Police by a friend at 5.45pm the same day. 

When officers gained entry to the flat he was found lying on his back on the bed. Mr Virr had been subjected to a violent attack in which he sustained extensive head injuries. 

From the results of the pathologist report, it is believed Mr Virr had been murdered late on 19 December or during the early hours of 20 December 2010. 

Following extensive enquiries at the scene and in the local area, the investigation team were able to establish that John Stamford was suspected to be responsible for the murder. 

Stamford was arrested at his home address on the morning of 24 December 2010 and charged with Mr Virr’s murder on 26 December 2010. 

Detective Superintendent Ray Galloway said “The level of violence inflicted by Stamford was truly shocking.  Although we may never know the exact reasons which led Stamford to commit murder, I just hope Gary’s family can find some measure of comfort and closure in the conviction of his killer.” 

Gary’s family issued a statement, saying “We cannot begin to comprehend the reason why he was taken from us in such a way he never deserved. We are all now left with feeling empty inside along with a feeling of utter disgust towards John Stamford. It causes the family great pain and anguish realising that Gary will never be with us again. He will be missed as a son, brother, husband, father and grandfather. Gary will not be forgotten by any of his family or friends who loved and cared for him so very much.”