Devastated family of murdered Sunderland man issue heartfelt statement after his killers sentenced to life
26 Jan | 10:45

The devastated family of murdered Blaine Hammond have issued a heartfelt statement after his killers were sentenced to life behind bars.

Blaine was brutally assaulted on December 3, 2021 by Louis Whelan and Anthony Keating, who then dumped his body in a disused exchange box on Saltburn Road.

Emergency services, including Police and paramedics, attended the scene and Blaine was sadly pronounced as deceased.

Following an extensive police investigation Whelan and Keating, both 23, were identified as suspects and arrested and subsequently charged with murder.

They were later convicted following a five-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court in which a jury heard details of how they savagely beat Blaine and left him for dead.

Today (Wednesday) Whelan, of Watling Street, Towcester, and Keating, of Palmerston Road, Sunderland, both 23, were both jailed for life, a must serve a minimum of 14 years.

During sentencing, a Victim Impact Statement written by Blaine’s family was read out on behalf of Blaine’s mother, Leigh Gray.

It read: “I will never get over the loss of my beautiful son or the horrendous circumstances of his murder.

“Blaine was a kind, caring, well-loved son, brother, uncle, nephew, grandson, cousin and friend.

“Those responsible for Blaine’s death have not only taken his life but have destroyed the lives of all who loved him.

“We all feel like we are living our own life sentence. We were never given the chance to say goodbye to Blaine.

“Blaine had his whole life ahead of him, he wanted to drive a car, have a family and children. He loved his holidays, working and spending times with his friends.

“It has taken two people to destroy not only his life but his family and friends. He will always be loved and missed and forever in our hearts.”

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Sharon Chatterton, said: “This has been a horrendous ordeal for Blaine’s family, who have conducted themselves with dignity and shown so much courage throughout these difficult proceedings. No sentence can ever bring Blaine back.”

“Whelan and Keating have never shown any remorse for their acts and the loss of Blaine’s life – and their reluctance to admit their roles in this despicable attack which took Blaine’s life and deprived him of a future, meant his family were put through the ordeal of a trial”.

“These men are dangerous, violent offenders and our communities are a better place without them”.

“As a Force we are committed to tackling serious violence, and we’d ask that the public continues to work with us to help put offenders behind bars and to report any relevant information or concerns that you have .”

back to top