Man jailed for killing his sister by setting her on fire
Friday 31st March 2017 23:27 Gorton & Openshaw News Posted by Adam Higgins

A man has been jailed after killing his sister by dousing her in petrol and setting her alight.

Stephen Archer, 51, of Victoria Street, Openshaw, has been jailed for 27 years after being found guilty of the murder of his sister, Julie Archer, and arson with intent to endanger life at Manchester Crown Court.

On February 29, 2016, police were called to a house on Surbiton Road in Newton Heath by a woman who was trapped in an upstairs bedroom. She reported that her uncle had set her mum on fire and she was trapped inside.

On arrival, Julie, 49, was found with serious burns to her whole body and was taken to hospital for treatment having sustained 95% burns, but she died four days later.

Julie’s teenage daughter, who called police, escaped the house by jumping from a bedroom window.

Archer had thrown a mix of petrol and mineral spirit over Julie, he had carried it over to her house to confront her over a disagreement after their father’s death.

The jury heard how, after setting his sister alight, Archer evaded police and hid in woodland near to Marple Bridge.

Whilst on the run, he sent a birthday card to his mother and a get-well-soon card to Julie. The card to his mum said: “Mum, just a note to say I’m truly sorry for what I did to Julie, but believe she deserved it for what she did to my dad.”

Message: The birthday card Archer sent to his mother

Senior Investigating Officer, Duncan Thorpe, from GMP’s Serious Crime Division, said: “First of all, my thoughts are with Julie’s family. The past year has been unimaginable for them. Hopefully today’s conclusion will go some way to help them move forward.

“Stephen Archer killed his sister in cold blood. Not only did he kill Julie, he did so in a way that would cause a phenomenal amount of pain and suffering.

“He has shown no remorse. Archer is a dangerous man who has broken his whole family apart. He will now spend the next 27 years in prison and will have plenty of time to contemplate exactly what he did.”

The family of Julie Archer released the following statement after the conclusion of the court case, which read: “I would like to thank all those who helped Julie on that terrible day, from the superb neighbours who saved Quibilah, to those who helped Julie.

“I would like to thank the emergency services who helped Julie and eventually caught Stephen. Julie was a fantastic mother, daughter, sister, Auntie and friend. She will be truly missed.

“Today’s verdict has given our family some justice but nothing will bring Julie back. We love and miss her and she will be forever in our hearts.”