FOUR people, including a brother and sister, who travelled in a car from Manchester to St Helens and murdered a dad-of-one have each been given life sentences.

Warren Glover, who was 33, was struck to the head by Aaron Stubbs in a "heavy blow" with a metal bar on the night of Saturday, June 13, 2020 on French Street at its junction with Thompson Street, Toll Bar.

Liverpool Crown Court heard he was the victim of a "revenge" attack over "abusive" text messages he sent to ex-girlfriend, Melissa Stubbs and others in response to her making clear their relationship was over.

Melissa, her brother Aaron Stubbs, friend Stephen Strutt, and Peter Walker, were charged with murder and found guilty after a six-week long trial.

They will serve a total of more than 80 years in prison between them after being sentenced today.

Melissa and Aaron Stubbs

Melissa and Aaron Stubbs

At around 10.15pm on June 13, the four of them had arrived in a grey Kia Sportage, before assaulting Warren in the quiet residential street.

Judge Denis Watson QC said Melissa and Aaron Stubbs had phoned Mr Glover to "tell him that they were on their way to smash his head in".

They "persuaded" Walker to join them and "took with them two weapons, a metal bar, akin to a crow bar, and a baseball-type bat" and made the 30-mile journey.

St Helens Star:

Victim Warren Glover

The judge said that Mr Glover, who was at his home in French Street, "knew what he was facing and armed himself with a hammer as the car arrived.

"Warren Glover didn't wait to be attacked, instead he swung the hammer and damaged the car before he tried to run off.

"Aaron Stubbs got out of the car with the bar and Walker with the baseball bat, both of whom chased him, Aaron Stubbs in front.

"Aaron Stubbs struck Warren Glover over the head with a very heavy blow which caused immediate unconsciousness."

The attack left him with a skull fracture and "irrecoverable brain injury". Mr Glover was taken to hospital where he died three weeks later on Tuesday, July 7.

Peter Walker

Peter Walker

Passing sentence, judge Watson said there were aggravating factors involved.

"All the defendants fled to Manchester, disposed of the bar and the bat and readied the car for repair and Aaron Stubbs disposed of his phone," he said.

"It was not a long-held plan, there are (aggravating) features, the recruitment of others and the disposal of a phone by Aaron Stubbs."

The judge accepted they travelled to St Helens with the intent to "cause grievous bodily harm" to Mr Glover "rather than to kill and said there was "limited mitigation" over the fact Mr Glover had "sent off texts to Melissa Stubbs and others".

Stephen Strutt

Stephen Strutt

However, the judge said the "attack occurred nearly two hours later" rather than "a spur of the moment".

"I don't accept there is any element of self-defence. This was violence deliberately precipitated by the defendants themselves."

Aaron Stubbs, 30, of Lane End Road, Manchester was sentenced to life and must serve a minimum of 21 years and six months.

Melissa Stubbs, 29, of Lane End Road, Manchester, who wept in the dock for much of the hearing, was sentenced to life with a minimum of 20 and a half years.

Stephen Strutt, 39, of Chester Avenue, Stalybridge was jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 20 years.

And Peter Walker, of Garth Road, Manchester was sentenced to life and must serve a minimum of 20 years and six months.

Defending Aaron Stubbs, Nina Grahame said the "offence was committed in the context of a heightened emotional situation".

Melissa Stubbs' defence described her of "previous good character" and "distressed" by what had happened.

Walker's defence said there were "positive features of his cahracter" and his behaviour that day was an "aberration".

Meanwhile, Strutt's defence said he had "played no role" in the violence and was seen "standing by the car" during the attack.

A fifth defendant Sarah Clarke, 30, of Chester Avenue, Stalybridge, was found guilty of assisting an offender, after hiding Strutt, her partner, at a Blackpool hotel as police searched for him after the murder. She will be sentenced on May 21.