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Two found guilty of murdering Lichfield dad

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Carl Keatley and Jordan Carroll

Two people have been found guilty of murdering a Lichfield dad.

Twenty-year-old Carl Keatley of Greencroft, Lichfield, and 16-year-old Jordan Carroll of Windmill Close, Lichfield, were convicted following a two-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

The jury took less than a day of deliberation to find the pair guilty of murdering the 43-year-old.

The trial heard how the drunken pair punched and kicked Mr Eccles just yards from his front door in Weston Road on the night of January 25. Shortly before the attack he had exchanged words with his attackers outside a local shop where he had bought milk and a bottle of wine.

Mr Eccles never regained consciousness. He died of multiple injuries in hospital the following afternoon.

Ch Supt Mick Harrison, Commander of Trent Valley division which includes Lichfield, said:

“Mr Eccles suffered sickening injuries, in a pointless, savage attack. His death was an utter tragedy. He was a much-loved and devoted family man, who was obviously highly regarded by his friends and colleagues. Our sympathies remain with everyone close to him.

“The witness and forensic evidence presented to the jury was gathered during a painstaking inquiry by our Major Investigations Department. We are grateful to everyone who helped the investigation, and to the local community for their patience and understanding as we pieced together the circumstances surrounding Mr Eccles’ death. The efforts of those who tried to help Mr Eccles at the scene must also be remembered.

“At the time, Mr Eccles was described by his family as kind, giving and loving – the starkest of contrasts to those who killed him and tried to cover it up. We hope that the verdicts will go some way to helping his family and friends cope with their huge loss. We also hope that the local community will take reassurance from knowing that those responsible for his death now face a long time behind bars.”

Michael Eccles

Michael Eccles

Ch Supt Harrison added that the killing of Mr Eccles had shocked the entire community. He explained

“This terrible incident came as a huge shock to people who live in the area, the vast majority of whom are hard-working and committed to their community. In fact, many residents have worked with us for a number of years to improve the quality of life for local people.

“My neighbourhood officers, together with partners such as the North Lichfield Initiative, have for a long time been at the forefront of improvements which have been supported and welcomed by people of all ages.  We continue to do a great deal of work with our partners from the local authority, housing associations and voluntary groups to maintain the successes we have had in tackling issues in the area, such as low-level anti-social behaviour.

“One of our main successes has been in encouraging people to contact us about nuisance behaviour, to enable us to respond and deal with it quickly and effectively. We would urge people to continue calling us and making contact with neighbourhood police officers, helping us to ensure Lichfield remains a safe place to live, work and visit.” 

Jordan Carroll’s father, Edward Carroll (55), was convicted of perverting the course of justice. He washed blood off his son and put his clothes and trainers in their washing machine to get rid of forensic evidence.

All three will be sentenced on September 11.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.