Stepfather’s killer gets 
15 years

Have your say

A MURDERER has been jailed for 15 years after admitting killing his stepfather in a Christmas Eve attack.

Jay Griffiths was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday for the murder of Andrew Massarella on December 24, 2011.

Mr Massarella’s body was found following a blaze at his flat in Callender Court in Middleham Road in Cantley and his death was initially treated as suicide. But a witness contacted South Yorkshire Police last July with new information which ultimately led to the murder conviction.

Extensive forensic analysis showed the cause of death to be strangulation with a discarded cigarette being the probable cause of a slow burning fire. Detective Superintendent Terry Mann admitted the inquiry had been “a long and complex case”.

Robert Danby, 61, and Zena Hancock, 45, pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice. Danby was sentenced to two years and Hancock was jailed for 19 months.

They met Griffiths later on the Christmas Eve morning and helped him leave the Doncaster area.

A statement from Mr Massarella’s parents, Nick and Diane, and his siblings Louise, Richard and Maria, said: “We will never understand why Jay Griffiths did what he did. He cannot begin to understand the loss that we feel.”