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Wednesday, 20 February, 2002, 15:57 GMT
Second conviction over pensioner death
Hull Combined Courts
The case is being heard at Hull Crown Court
A second man has been found guilty of the murder of Grimsby pensioner Alf Wilkins.

The jury at Hull Crown Court returned a majority verdict on 40-year-old Ian Lawless on Wednesday.

Lawless, of Conway Avenue, Grimsby, was found guilty by a ten to two majority of the murder of Mr Wilkins.

The 67-year-old died in a fire at his flat on Grimsby's Yarborough Estate in February 2001.

Merchant seaman

Earlier this week Lawless's godson Gary Lawson was found guilty of starting the fire in Arundel Walk, and convicted of murder.

Mr Wilkins had been cleared of an indecency charge against a young girl, but the court was told he had been harassed by local people because of the accusation.

The jury will now resume its deliberations on a charge of incitement to commit murder against Gary Fairbanks.

Mr Fairbanks, 43, of Ludlow Avenue, is charged with incitement to murder and threats to destroy property.

Retired merchant seaman Mr Wilkins had been cleared of indecent assault charges against a nine-year-old girl but been subjected to taunts and abuse following his trial.

Lawson's girlfriend, Chantelle Day, 17, of Haven Gardens, Grimsby, has been convicted of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm in the case.

Mr Justice Geoffrey Grigson said he would postpone sentencing until all the verdicts have been delivered.


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