Student who killed beloved grandfather in his own Sutton Coldfield home given 10 year sentence


An aspiring actor killed a beloved grandfather in his own home in Sutton Coldfield after subjecting him to a “sustained and violent” assault.

Tony McCorry, 72, who had a coronary condition, suffered multiple injuries to his head, neck and chest, and tragically died from a heart attack.

His attacker, Rhys Reynolds, failed to get any medical help for the victim as he lay dying and told a series of lies about what had happened.

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The court heard the drama student gave 24 different accounts of what happened and that it was almost two hours before the alarm was raised.

He had also joked that his impending murder trial would make him famous before his other drama studying friends, the court heard.

Reynolds, 20, of Landswood Close, Kingstanding, who had previously been acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter following a trial last month at Birmingham Crown Court, was sentenced to 10 years detention in a young offenders institution.

Mr McCorry, who had problems with his knees and walked with the aid of a walking stick, met the defendant after spending the evening at his local pub, The Sutton Park Hotel, in Boldmere where he was a regular.

Reynolds, who had been celebrating a friend’s birthday, then went back with Mr McCorry to his home in Stonehouse Road in the early hours of December 11 last year.

In a statement one of the victim’s sons, Matthew McCorry, said: “My father was a lovely man.

“He overcame adversity to become a mild mannered and hard working man.

“He chose to work towards a brighter future. We loved him very deeply. The night Tony died he was doing what he enjoyed, drinking in his local pub. We miss Tony terribly, he enjoyed having the grandchildren.”

In passing sentence Judge Francis Laird said: “At the time of his death Mr McCorry was 72. He was a loving and loved father, grandfather and brother.

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“The court has heard the moving statement from his son. On the night 10 December Tony McCorrry went out to his local pub, that was the Sutton Park Hotel where he was a regular.

“He was a popular customer. He suffered from a significant disability to his knees and he usually walked with the assistance of a walking stick.

“He also suffered from an acute coronary disease. You had been out celebrating a friend’s birthday.

“At around midnight you struck up a conversation with Mr McCorry. Within a very short time of entering the house you inflicted serious injuries on Mr McCorry.

“You have told many lies. What is clear is that the cause of his death was a heart at attack brought on by trauma at your hands.

“The most serious injury was four fractures to the larynx. Following the infliction of those injuries you remained in the house.

“You made a series of calls giving conflicting and untrue accounts of what had happened. You were told on several occasions to call an ambulance

“When the emergency services arrived Tony McCorry was pronounced dead.

“I am sure that this was a sustained and serious assault.”

He said there there was no indication that Reynolds had been trying to defend himself but could not be sure he used a weapon during the attack.

He went on: “You committed the offence while under the influence of alcohol and the attack happened in Mr McCorry’s home a place where he should have been safe.”

Michelle Heeley QC defending, said: “On the evidence he genuinely felt something was happening to him.

“He reacted in a disproportionate manner. This was a matter of minutes. Reynolds was drunk himself. Something happened to trigger what then took place.”

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