Drug dealer Anthony Micah Pyke begins a minimum 32-year prison term over the shocking death of popular Leeds dad Colin Pierre. Tony Gardner reports.
A cold-blooded killer who blasted a father to death and left him to die in a Leeds woodland is today starting a life sentence for murder.
Anthony Micah Pyke was branded “utterly devoid of humanity” by police after he was told he must serve a minimum of 32 years behind bars over the death of Colin Pierre.
Mr Pierre, known to his family and friends as Craig, was forced into woodland off Gledhow Valley Road at gunpoint before being shot in the leg and left to bleed to death.
Pyke, 32, was found guilty of murder and two offences of kidnap after a three-week trial at Leeds Crown Court.
After the case, Det Chief Insp Jim Dunkerley, of West Yorkshire Police Protective Services Crime, said: “Craig was shot in cold blood and left to die alone in the woods in an appalling act of violence that shows Pyke to be someone who is utterly devoid of humanity.
“Craig’s death was completely unnecessary.
“He presented no threat to Pyke who had no reason to kill him other than out of some twisted sense of his status as a drug dealer who needed to show he wasn’t to be crossed.”
The jury heard Mr Pierre was blasted with a sawn off shotgun as a “brutal lesson” meted out by drug dealer Pyke.
Mr Pierre and another man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were forced to walk from a car into the woods.
The other man was then made to kneel and Colin Pierre was shot in front of him.
Pyke, of Gordon Terrace, Meanwood, operated an extensive drug dealing network and used others to deal for him and controlled the business through numerous mobile telephones.
A few days before the killing, which took place just before 2am on March 11 this year, Pyke had given the other man heroin and cocaine to sell.
Instead of selling them, the man and Mr Pierre smoked them and ignored the rules of the arrangement that Pyke had dictated to him.
Pyke and another unknown man walked the pair into the woods before Pyke fired the fatal shot from a 12 gauge shotgun.
Mr Pierre then fell down a steep bank into the stream. His body was found the following morning by a boy on his way to school.
The jury was played a recording of a 999 call made by Mr Pierre as he lay dying.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice William Davis described Mr Pierre as an “innocent party”.
He told Pyke : “This was not some momentary act on your part.
“This was bringing a man deliberately to Leeds from Morley and then taking him and another to an isolated place with the specific purpose of punishing one or both of them”
He added: “Once you had shot Mr Pierre you did nothing to assist him.
“Rather, you abandoned him in woodland to die in a stream.”
Two other men – Ian Wilson, 37, and Trevor Isles, 49 – were found not guilty of murder and two offences of kidnap.
The prosecution claimed Wilson and Isles both worked for Pyke and were responsible for collecting Mr Pierre from a house in Morley before delivering him to Pyke.
Wilson and Isles, both of Highfield Green, Pudsey claimed Mr Pierre came with them of his own free will and that they knew nothing of Pyke’s intention to shoot him.
The pair were convicted of a burglary linked to the shooting incident.
Both were jailed for three-and-a-half years.