A MURDERER who repeatedly stabbed an old friend to death and recorded his final moments on a mobile phone was branded a “monster” in court.

Ian Robertson, 33, of Beilby Road, Haydock brutally killed Robert Sempey with a knife, stabbing him at least 12 times including slitting his throat on the night of Friday, January 19.

Robertson's nine year old son was in bed upstairs at the time of the murder.

Robertson was given a life sentence - of which he must serve a miniumum of 21 years in prison. 

Kirsty Jervis was jailed for two years and eight months for assisting an offender in relation to the murder.

Robertson, who was a former friend of Mr Sempey, had become reacquainted with him earlier that afternoon at The Swan pub in St Helens. 

Mr Sempey later went to the home of Robertson and his partner Kirsty Jervis, 30 to continue drinking. 

St Helens Star: Robert Sempey was found dead in January

Robert Sempey

Earlier in the the evening Robertson had stabbed Sempey in the arm with a butter knife after the victim had suggested to Jervis going back to his house because “it was boring here”.

Things settled down again before violence erupted again later that night. 

The nine year old boy saw Mr Sempey and Robertson grappling on the sofa in a living room after going to the toilet. 

The court heard after sending his son upstairs Robertson carried out the vicious attack on Mr Sempey, stabbing him many times in the head, throat and chest. 

While Mr Sempey was dying, Robertson proceeded to record the victim’s final moments, expressing mocking incredulity that Mr Sempey was still alive.

He called him the Terminator and hummed the film’s theme tune before stabbing him again. 

Judge Andrew Menary QC said the video was not played in court for “obvious reasons” but described it as “sadistic” and said what he did “beggars belief”. 

Robertson had requested the video not be played in court with the judge saying he suspected this was due to the “realisation that anyone who heard it would regard you as a monster”. 

Mr Sempey’s body was dragged into the garden and hidden under two doors where he lay half-naked before police discovered the body more than 24 hours later.

Robertson later lied to Mr Sempey’s partner and police claiming Mr Sempey had got a taxi from the house that night.

Prosecuting, Christopher Tehrani told the court that Robertson had previous convictions, including for battery in 2011 and 2014, for which he received suspended sentences and possession of a firearm in January 2016 for which he was imprisoned for 19 months.

In passing sentence, judge Menary said: "Dealing specifically with the arguments that you were to an extent provoked by things said by Mr Sempey, I do not accept that there is anything in this submission that could amount to mitigation."

He added that even if Mr Sempey had said something, "it was not a matter about which you were entitled to feel any strong sense of grievance. The victim was not someone closely connected to you. Given your record of domestic violence you can hardly claim the moral high ground".

He added the claim also "tends to suggest that when you killed Mr Sempey, you did it on purpose and for a purpose".

The judge gave Robertson a life sentence, of which he must serve 21 years minimum before being considered for parole, minus the 144 days he has already spent in custody.

Jervis, who although not in the room at the time of the murder, helped clean up after the killing and did not disclose information to the police, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender.

To Jervis, the judge said: "There must be a prison sentence for this type of offending".

He added: "Though limited in time, your assistance to Robertson cannot be described as minimal and you have offered no help to the police at all."

She was sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment.

Defending Robertson, Nigel Power QC, said there was a "lack of pre-meditation" in the killing and that "although there had been trouble during the evening that fell short of pre-meditation".

Defending Jervis, Philip Astbury said she was of "previous good character".

Sarah Gray, a Senior Crown Prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service who was the reviewing lawyer in the case, issued a statement after the sentencing.

She said: “This is one of the most disturbing cases I have ever had to deal with.

“Both Robertson and Jervis pleaded guilty to the offences, sparing Mr Sempey's relatives and the Jury from having to hear the dreadful recording of his last moments.

“The reason why Robertson killed Mr Sempey has not been established. At one point, the men seemed to be getting along well but that deteriorated.

“My thoughts are with Robert Sempey’s family and the Crown Prosecution Service extends condolences to them at this very difficult time.”