BREAKING NEWS: Mexborough man found guilty of murder

Violent killer John Sowden.
Violent killer John Sowden.

A man has been found guilty of murdering his former flatmate in Mexborough.

John Sowden, 44, of Elm Road, Mexborough is facing life in prison for the killing of Christopher Rooney in September last year.

He was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court earlier today and is due to be sentenced.

Sowden is facing a life sentence with a minimum of 15 years.

In a statement from Mr Rooney’s family following the guilty verdict, they said: “We are pleased that justice has been done and Sowden has been found guilty of the brutal killing of our Chris.

“He was hoping to start afresh in Mexborough and was befriended by Sowden who took advantage of him.

“He broke into his flat and beat him so badly and left him to die. He had the opportunity to call for an ambulance but he didn’t.

“Our Chris was a great son and brother, and we miss him so very much. Whilst nothing can bring him back, we feel that justice for Chris has been achieved.

“We now wish to get on with our lives and would like to thank South Yorkshire Police and their staff who helped so much.”

Mr Rooney’s body was found at his home address at Auckland Road, Mexborough, on Sunday, September 2, 2012.

The 48-years-old had suffered multiple injuries to his head and body in a sustained attack by Sowden, which resulted in his death, in the early hours of Sunday morning at the property.

Sowden was arrested and charged the same day.

Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick, the senior investigating officer said: “This was a brutal and vicious attack by Sowden who has shown no remorse for his violent behaviour and actions, which led to the untimely death of Mr Rooney.

“We offer our deepest condolences to Mr Rooney’s family and will continue to offer support to them wherever we can.”