Ipswich: Sad demise of alcoholic, whose murderers face lengthy spell in prison

IPSWICH: Two alcoholics, who brutally murdered a troubled fellow drinker, are today behind bars for a total of 34 years.

Martin Edwards’ naked body was discovered by a neighbour in his blood spattered flat at Piper’s Court in Old Foundry Road, Ipswich on Christmas Day last year just hours after he had excitedly told a friend that it was going to be his “best Christmas ever”.

A post-mortem exaimination found he had suffered 228 injuries, which had been caused by him being kicked, punched and stamped on as well as being hit with pieces of a broken plant stand, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Timothy Bailey and Joseph Heggarty denied murder but were found guilty by a jury and sentenced yesterday.

According to Mr Edwards’ eldest brother Tim, the 45-year-old’s life imploded just five years before his death following a relationship breakdown in 2005, leading him to lose his way in life.

A photograph of Mr Edwards as a teenager, taken 30 years ago on holiday in Canada with his parents Maureen and Roy, shows a different side to a man whose later years were lost to alcoholism.

His face was lit up with the exuberance of youth, years away from the haggard, glazed look of a man entrenched in a fatal addiction.

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Tim Edwards, 54, said: “Martin had a happy childhood. He was helpful and kind. He worked hard and enjoyed life.

“He was helpful when our father died in 2000, and helped our mother, along with our brother Gary and myself.”

Mr Edwards worked with Gary, 52, as a heating engineer until 2005.

Tim added: “Then a long-term relationship ended and he lost the sense and meaning of life. He always liked a drink, but that’s when it really started to go downhill for him.”

Mr Edwards, who had a son by a previous relationship, left south London and came to east Anglia. He had arrived in Ipswich in 2008, and moved into Piper’s Court five months before his murder.

During Mr Edwards’ time in the town he became known to police, and at one stage took a bus on a joyride before crashing it into railings.

Due to his gentle nature he was easy prey for violent drunks like Bailey and Heggarty, who made his life hell.

On the night of Mr Edwards’ murder Bailey was said to have beat him until he ran out of energy to batter him any more.

Tim said: “The way his life ended was atrocious. Everybody has a right to lead their lives whichever way they want and they took someone’s life.

“I feel numb towards them. I’m very angry, but there’s nothing I can do.”

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