A lunatic fueled by alcohol and drugs beat a defenceless amputee in a wheelchair to death, after accusing the man of selling his son drugs. The attacker is 38-year-old Daniel Sharples, and he describes himself as a martial arts enthusiast. Sharples had been drinking heavily all day before his encounter with 53-year-old Michael Mairs.
Several witnesses watched Sharples attack Mairs underneath a railway bridge, and police were quickly called to the scene. After being arrested for the attack, Sharples told police that he was glad he attacked the man and had no regrets.
“I’m glad I did it and I’ll do it again,” he said.
“The guy in the wheelchair…the one who sold my son smack. Well I’m never gonna go against that. He’s f***ing nearly killed my 15-year-old son, he’s in a coma and youse have done nothing,” he added.
However, there was no evidence that the victim sold his son drugs. In fact, Sharples’ own teenage son gave a statement saying he had never taken drugs and didn’t know and had never met Mr Mair.
Sharples admitted to manslaughter, but denied that it was a case of murder because he did not plan to kill Mr. Mair.
Stephen Wood, QC, who represented Sharples in court, argued that his client is a “nutcase” who was not in control of himself.
During his arrest, Sharples was said to be “frothing at the mouth”, and while he was in the police van he banged his head on the door. Later while in a cell he soiled himself and stripped naked, then punched himself.
Initially, he attempted to run away from police after the attack. and tried to escape by running through a pub, but he was ultimately apprehended.
Sharples changed his story on multiple occasions, and claims to not have any recollection of the encounter. At one point, Sharples told officers on the scene that he never touched the man, and that police should not be trying to get a confession out of him because he was too intoxicated. Witnesses say that he gave Mr Mair a full force karate kick while the man was in his wheelchair.
A bus driver said Sharples punched Mr Mairs in the face while the victim was in his wheelchair, then kicked him to his head as he lay unconscious on the ground, according to Manchester Evening News.
Another witness said: “It was like something from a film, like a karate kick, it looked hard and fast. The attacker’s leg went quite high to kick him in the face.
In addition to being intoxicated from several hours of drinking, Sharples was also high on valium. His obviously troubled relationship with drugs and alcohol makes the claim that Mair was selling his son drugs all that more strange and suspicious. In one of the statements to police, he claimed that Mair was selling his son spice.
After 10 hours of deliberation, following a seven day trial, a jury determined unanimously that Sharples was guilty of murder.
Sharples will be sentenced on October 27.