Drug dealer murdered Leeds man, 24, robbed him as he lay dead then came back to steal more

Killer Philip Craig
Killer Philip Craig

A man who was stabbed to death and then burgled by his killer as he lay dead was 'a bright young man robbed of his future', his family have said in an emotional statement today.

Christopher Laskaris, aged 24, was 'deliberately targeted' by Philip Craig, 38, who stabbed him to death in his Leeds flat before rifling through the pockets of his dead body.

Christopher Laskaris

Christopher Laskaris

Craig then returned to the flat days later, in November 2016, to steal other valuables from Laskaris' Hyde Park flat while he lay dead on the floor.

Today Craig was found guilty of murder at Leeds Crown Court following a trial.

He was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 25 years behind bars. He was also given a concurrent sentence of three years for the burglary.

Vulnerable murder victim who ‘had only one friend in Leeds’ was stabbed through the heart

Sentencing, Mr Justice Goss told Craig: “The facts reveal a life filled by your selfish desire to satisfy your drug habit and a callous indifference to life and the consequences of violent crime.”

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Swift, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said Craig has shown “no genuine remorse”.

He said: “Christopher Laskaris was a vulnerable adult who was deliberately targeted by Craig, a known drug dealer and drug user.

“He stabbed him to death and rifled through his pockets, and even returned to the flat in the days after to steal other valuables while Christopher lay dead.

“Craig lied to officers repeatedly throughout his interviews and has shown no genuine remorse for what he has done.

“Christopher’s family have been left utterly distraught at losing him in such sudden and violent circumstances, and we hope the significant sentence that Craig has received will provide some small degree of comfort to them.”

A statement from the family of Christopher Laskaris said: “We are relieved that justice has been done, but nothing can ever heal our pain and loss, which we will have to live with for the rest of our lives.

“A bright young man has been robbed of his future, and this has had a devastating impact on his friends and family.

“Nobody should have to go through what our family has gone through over the past few months, and we hope that lessons can also be learned from this about how professional services help and protect vulnerable people and people suffering from mental health problems within our communities.

“We would also like to thank West Yorkshire Police and the investigation team for all their hard work and support in bringing the offender to justice.”

Illegal cigarettes found by police during searches in Armley and Bramley. Picture: West Yorkshire Police

Leeds police find illegal cigarettes worth £50,000 in Armley and Bramley shops