‘Cowardly killer’ jailed for ‘senseless and tragic’ murder in Huyton

A man has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 17 years for the murder of Joseph Holland, who was stabbed to death in Huyton earlier this year.

At Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday 21 December, James Preston, aged 21, from Huyton, was sentenced after he was found guilty of murder.

At around 3.30pm on Thursday, 8 June 2023, it was reported that Joseph, aged 25, had been found dead inside a house on Huyton House Road.

It was later determined by a post-mortem that Joseph died as a result of stab wounds to the chest.

Following an investigation, Preston was arrested and charged with murder.

Joseph Holland/Family handout

Joseph’s dad, Dave Holland, has today issued a statement following Preston’s sentencing. Dave said, “The loss of our son Joe has had a devastating impact on us, our family, and friends.

“No sentence or punishment handed out to his cowardly killer James Preston could ever be long or tough enough. Having to go through this trial and listen to his lies and then the detail of Joe’s injuries has been horrific to say the least. We have got our own life sentences to live with now because of Preston’s actions.

“We will take some pleasure knowing that each day Preston is behind bars the community is safer. We hope that every day when he wakes up lonely and locked up in his cell that he remembers why he is there.

“He is an evil, dangerous, jealous monster that has no friends, and we hope he rots in hell for a very long time. He showed no remorse whatsoever throughout this trial. We just want to try and rebuild our lives as best we can now and remember the wonderful memories and smile on Joe’s face as we try and move forward. He was loved so much by all those who knew him.

“We would like to thank the police and all involved in the prosecution that brought this to its rightful conclusion.”

Detective Chief Inspector John Fitzgerald said, “Preston now faces 17 years in prison after he carried out the senseless and tragic murder of Joseph Holland.

“Joseph was only 25-years-old with his whole life ahead of him and the cowardly and violent actions of Preston has tragically cut short his life.

“Today, Preston is behind bars where he rightly belongs and where he will now spend a considerable period of his adult life. Thankfully, the jury saw through Preston’s lies after he claimed his violent actions on that date were in self-defence, which was never the case.

“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Joseph’s family, who throughout this whole investigation and the trial have remained dignified and composed despite being forced to relive the horrific events of Joseph’s murder.

“No sentence, however long, can change what Preston did, but I hope knowing he has been brought to justice and is off our streets brings Joseph’s family some small amount of comfort.

“I hope that now they can start to properly grieve their loss.”

Image: James Preston/Merseyside Police

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