Kieran Oldham carried out an ‘horrific and sustained attack’ with an axe that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Liam Richardson in October 2022.
Oldham (16/11/1985), of Industry Road, Rochdale, had pleaded guilty to false imprisonments and affray, but denied murder, instead offering a plea to manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.
However, a jury at Minshull Street Crown Court found Oldham guilty of murder and he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 22 years today (Friday 24 March 2023) along with false imprisonment and affray to run concurrently.
Detective Inspector Rachel Smith, of Greater Manchester Police’s Major Incident Team, said: “This was a horrific and sustained attack that took place in Kieran Oldham’s House. Liam had been staying with Oldham at the address and were believed to be friends, with evidence suggesting he was bullied.
“Oldham though violently killed Liam and then left him in his address before going on to commit further offences in the vicinity over the next few hours before he was arrested.
“The investigation team worked diligently to uncover a wealth of evidence as to Kieran Oldham’s guilt. When interviewed by GMP, Oldham provided an account which was proven to be wholly untrue. His lies were disproven by the Major Incident Team, as was the account that he was not guilty due to diminished responsibility. The prosecution has proven that Oldham intended to kill Liam.
“I hope today’s sentence brings some comfort to Liam’s family and friends, who have attended court every day of this trial and have had to listen to the details of this despicable crime. As officers we always want to bring justice to the families of victims and we are pleased in some way we have been able to do that and give them some form of closure to their continued agony and understandable pain. Our thoughts as a force remain with his loved ones after today’s sentencing.”
Speaking about her beloved son, Susan Hartley as part of her evidence, said: “There are no words that can describe how we feel as a family.
“On the 3rd of October I received the worst news that any parent could ever imagine. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I felt like the world had come crashing down on me and my family and to this day, that feeling has not gone away. I do not understand how one person can do such a thing to another. When I told the rest of our children, I don’t feel that they processed it very well at all.
“Watching my children grieve for their brother has truly broken my heart.
“Myself and my family will continue to love Liam like he is still here with us, but while grieving because he is not. We will never get over losing him and I hope we can do him proud while he watches down on us.”
Liam had been staying in Oldham’s house and on Monday 3 October 2022, officers were called to the address after midnight to a disturbance reported by neighbours.
When police entered the house, they found Liam’s body at the top of the stairs – there was an axe near the body and Liam had suffered catastrophic injuries.
Around four hours later, Oldham turned up at the house of two friends – he was bare-chested and not wearing shoes. He was wearing tracksuit bottoms that were covered in blood and he had blood on his hands.
For the next hour and a half, Kieran Oldham exhibited threatening and unusual behaviour and kept the couple prisoner in their own bedroom.
One of the victims managed to call 999 but Oldham fled before police arrived.
Oldham then proceeded to nearby Gale Street where, armed with an iron bar, he damaged a parked car.
A 17-year-old male resident witnessed this and went out into the street to remonstrate but Oldham struck him with the bar.
Police officers arrived a short time later and arrested Oldham on suspicion of murder.
A Home Office post-mortem found the cause of death was multiple injuries consistent with having been caused by the axe found at the scene.
Oldham initially made no comment and then made up a story that a gang had chased him and Liam, and it was them who had carried out the fatal attack.
We all have a part to play in fighting, preventing and reducing knife crime. If you know or suspect someone is carrying a knife, please report it immediately – before it is too late. You can contact GMP via gmp.police.uk or 101.
Crimestoppers also have a dedicated website which enables 11 – 17-year-olds to pass on information anonymously – this can be accessed through Fearless.org
In an emergency, always dial 999.