Sunderland murderer back behind bars after threatening to kill neighbour

James Lock
James Lock
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A MURDERER who savagely beat a businessman to death 20 years ago faces spending the rest of his life behind bars after carrying out another attack.

James Lock can now only be released from prison under the permission of the Secretary of State after he threatened to kill a neighbour.

Lock, of Sea View Terrace, Sunderland, was jailed for life in 1994 for the murder of rags-to-riches window cleaner David Glyn Williams.

He pinned down Mr Williams, 40, in his Argyle Square flat while accomplice Michael Warde, 23, kicked and stamped on his head nine times.

The now-43-year-old was released on licence in 2005, but was later recalled to prison after he was convicted of criminal damage.

Lock was given parole again, but in July this year he left Andrew Hind battered and bruised after a doorstep beating.

During the attack, Lock threatened to kill Mr Hind.

At Newcastle Crown Court this week, Lock pleaded guilty to having an article with a blade and assault by beating.

Now the murderer is at the mercy of the Secretary of State as to if, or when, he is given a third chance of freedom. Mr Recorder Andrew Copeland told him: “You know as well as anyone else, drink and carrying kitchen knives in the street is a bad combination and can very easily lead to something far more serious.”

The judge sentenced Lock to 11 months in prison for the attack, but warned: “You will have to wait and see what the Secretary of State orders.”

Jonathan Devlin, defending, said: “Whatever punishment the court imposes today is not really going to make any significant difference to the position of the defendant, bearing in mind he has been recalled on licence for the second time.”

Mr Hind had been sitting on his doorstep at Sea View Terrace, which was opposite where Lock was living, when he approached with a knife hanging from the pocket of his shorts.

Lock threw the knife past Mr Hind, into his hallway.

Mr Hind turned to see what had happened as Lock began the attack.

Prosecutor Gavin Doig told the court: “He punched him a number of times, threatening to kill him as he did so.”

Lock was just 22 when he was jailed for life for the murder of Mr Williams.

Lock and Warde, who lived in a nearby boarding house, had gone into Mr William’s flat intending to burgle it for the fourth time.

They carried out the horrific attack after confronting the businessman who had just returned from a night out.

Worried neighbours called the police after hearing banging and muffled screams, which lasted 15 minutes.

Lock leapt through a glass window in the first floor flat when police arrived at the scene, badly injuring his foot as he landed in the back yard.

He managed to hobble home and put his blood-splattered clothing in a vacuum cleaner. Warde was arrested by police nearby.

Mr Williams, who had been the owner of a prosperous window cleaning business underwent emergency surgery and a blood transfusion, but died eight days later in hospital.

The first police officer to arrive at the blood-covered flat that night said Mr Williams had been left in a “terrible state”.

Pc Thomas O’Reilly said: “His head was so swollen he was almost like a cartoon caricature.”

Mr Williams made – and lost – a fortune with his Wearside window cleaning business in the early 90s.