Group jailed for more than 51 years after being found guilty of killing Rotherham man in lay-by

Mohammed Shiraz Bashir and Leonie Marie Mason have been jailed for murder.
Mohammed Shiraz Bashir and Leonie Marie Mason have been jailed for murder.

A man, woman and three teenage boys have been jailed for more than 51 years after being found guilty of killing 34-year-old Craig Preston in August last year.

Mohammed Shiraz Bashir, 42, and his partner Leonie Marie Mason, 24, both of Holme Park Court, Huddersfield, were found guilty of the murder of Mr Preston, also known as Craig Nelson, after a 12-week trial that concluded last month.

Bashir was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 22 years in prison.

Mason was jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 19 years in prison.

On trial alongside the couple were two 15-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

At the same trial last month, they were found guilty of manslaughter.

The 16-year-old boy was jailed for a total of three years and four months.

One of the 15-year-old boys was handed a jail sentence of four years while the other has been jailed for three years.

Mr Preston’s body was found on the morning of August 22 on the moors off the A628 at Woodhead Tunnels in Derbyshire.

He had been severely beaten and a port-mortem examination determined he died as a result of head injuries.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Handley, the senior investigating officer, said: “After hearing 11 weeks of extensive evidence, the jury reached an important distinction between the actions of the adults and the juveniles in this case.

“The jury determined that Bashir and Mason executed a plan to murder Mr Preston, resulting in their significant prison terms today.

“They denied their guilt throughout and the severity and brutality of their crime is reflected in their lengthy sentences.

“The juveniles were found guilty of manslaughter, meaning that while they did play a role in Mr Preston’s death, the jury did not believe that they intended to kill him.

“All now face time behind bars for their crime and a complex police investigation now draws to a close.

“I wish to thank my team for their hard work and commitment throughout this inquiry and the partner agencies we have worked alongside over the last 10 months."