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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 January 2006, 21:03 GMT
Meat cleaver murderer gets life
Stephen Wynne
Stephen Wynne was caught by police investigating a mosque arson
A man who admitted murdering a prostitute with a meat cleaver has been jailed for life.

Ex-soldier Stephen Wynne, 28, killed mother-of-three Chantel Taylor, 27, who disappeared nearly two years ago from her home in Birkenhead, Merseyside.

Mr Justice McCombe said Wynne, of Birkenhead, who admitted murder at Liverpool Crown Court, should serve a minimum of 21 years.

He was also jailed for six years for trying to set light to a mosque.

Chantel Taylor, whose body has never been found, was last seen leaving her home in March 2004.

Neil Flewitt QC, prosecuting, told the court Wynne, who was thrown out of the Army for using cannabis, had been drinking and taking cocaine on the night of Miss Taylor's murder.

As he walked home, he was approached by Miss Taylor who agreed to go to his house for sex.

While they smoked heroin Wynne revealed he had an ounce of the drug which he had bought to sell. When Miss Taylor tried to leave, he saw she had stolen the drug and demanded it back.

Chantel Taylor
Chantel Taylor was last seen in March 2004

He struck her in the neck with a meat cleaver when she refused.

Wynne used a saw to dismember the body before hiding it in nearby woods and the local tip, the court heard.

Andrew Menary QC, defending, said Wynne fully expected to be caught and was racked by guilt.

He went to a police station to confess but his nerves failed at the last minute.

Mosque attack

The arson attack on the mosque in Birkenhead in revenge for the 7 July London bombings was also partly an attempt to be arrested so he could confess to the murder, the court heard.

Wynne discussed the attacks with some ex-Army friends and later texted one to say he planned to attack a mosque.

Fire crews had to rescue an imam living in the mosque but the court accepted Wynne's claim he thought it was empty.

Police officers seeking clues to the arson, two days after the bombings, found a handwritten note in Wynne's house referring to the killing of a "junkie whore".


They asked if he had any information about Miss Taylor's disappearance and he replied: "I killed her".

Detectives also found a poem by Wynne which included a bitter reference to benefits paid to asylum-seekers. When asked for his ethnicity for a police form, he replied: "English and proud."

His sentence for attacking the mosque will run concurrently with his murder sentence.

Miss Taylor's mother Jean Taylor said: "He's a cold, callous killer and I'm so grateful that he's been taken off the streets, so he can't kill again."

Watch the report on the conviction of ex-soldier Stephen Wynne.

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