Murdered over a bottle of cider - Three jailed for life for Barry Shillam killing

A woman and two men are today starting life-sentences after being found guilty of murdering a ‘vulnerable’ Smethwick man after he drank someone else’s cider.

Jailed - Andrea Jones, John Scott and Gurminder Singh
Jailed - Andrea Jones, John Scott and Gurminder Singh

Barry Shillam was beaten to death because he drank the bottle of alcohol which belonged to Andrea Jones, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Jones, John Scott and Gurminder Singh Sidhu were yesterday all found guilty of murdering the 52-year-old following a drinking session on July 17 last year.

They were each sentenced to life-imprisonment and will serve a minimum term of 15 years.

The jury delivered their verdict after deliberating for 10 hours and 15 minutes.

Victim Barry Shillam, from Smethwick
Victim Barry Shillam, from Smethwick

Judge John Wait said at the time he was attacked, Mr Shillam, from Smethwick, had been drunk and was ‘effectively defenceless’.

Jones, aged 40, of Brook Street, Smethwick, Sidhu, 40, of St Matthews Road, Smethwick, and Scott, 46, also of Brook Street, had become angry after returning to Jones’s flat from a neighbouring address on July 17 last year.

Mr Shillam was there and they said they saw he had drunk a bottle of Frosty Jack’s cider belonging to Jones.

Judge Wait said: “All three of you had been drinking and the anger quickly turned to violence. I am satisfied all three of you participated in the early stages of the attack which put Barry Shillam to the floor. There was further violence and he was bundled first into the garden before being dragged along the ground where he suffered significant injuries to his back.”

During the trial all three defendants had tried to claim it was the other two who were responsible for Mr Shillam’s death.

Mr Andrew Smith QC, prosecuting, said the three and Mr Shillam were part of a group that were drinking on July 17 last year. Mr Smith said after returning to the flat Jones began to punch Mr Shillam, who made no effort to defend himself because he was too drunk. The other two then joined in. Mr Shillam received intensive treatment at the scene from paramedics but he was pronounced dead at 10.30am on July 18.

Det Sgt Harry May, of the Major Investigation Review Team, said: “This was a vicious and prolonged attack on Barry. Barry was registered disabled having severe short-term memory loss.  He was unable to defend himself.”

Mr Shillam’s brother Stephen Falconer said: “Barry has been torn from all our hearts and our lives have been shattered. We are the ones who have been given the life sentence. He was a lovely natured man.”