Home   Kent   News   Article

Heartbroken father blames son's killer for wife's death

Lee Bullen
Lee Bullen

A heartbroken father says his son’s killer claimed a second victim – his wife.

Lee Bullen, 23, of Heritage Drive, Gillingham, is facing at least 15 years behind bars for the death of Twydall scaffolder Drew Shepherd.

The 23-year old died after being stabbed in the neck with a bottle.

Bullen admitted manslaughter saying it had been an accident, the result of a chaotic drink and drug fuelled brawl in February 2006.

But a jury at Croydon Crown Court took just 45 minutes at the end of a two-week retrial at Croydon Crown Court on Tuesday to find Bullen guilty of murder.

It was the second trial into the events which started with a drunken argument over music and ended in tragedy.

Drew had been enjoying a drink with his girlfriend Lisa Carde and friend Steve Lapping at the Hop and Vine pub when they bumped into Bullen and his friend Jon Towers, the court heard.

The group went back to a house for a party when Bullen and Drew began to argue over music.

Things turned violent after being driven home. In a fight fuelled by drink and cocaine the pair traded blows.

The jury heard how fatal blow came when Bullen hit Drew with a bottle he was holding, smashing it across his face.

He then used it to stab Drew in the neck as they brawled on the floor.

The guilty verdict of the first trial was overturned after London's appeal court backed defence claims that some evidence before the jury was unfair.

It led to further months of heartache for the Shepherd family as they awaited the start of new trial.

Drew’s mother Christine died over the summer before getting the justice she felt her son deserved.

Anguish over her lost son and the delay in getting justice for him played a part in her premature death, Drew's father Robin claims.

He said:“This second trial just prolonged our trauma. It was the last straw for her. She couldn’t cope.

“If he had not killed Drew, my wife would still be alive today. He has destroyed my family.

"Christine couldn't cope with losing her son so basically I believe he's responsible for two deaths."

Judge Warren McKinnon, passing sentence, said: "I am satisfied there was an intention to kill, albeit momentarily formed, and that makes it murder not manslaughter."

Bullen is unlikely to be considered for parole before 2020.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More