Criminal who strangled teenager to death steals Pringles and drink from carvery

A thug stole Pringles and bottles of alcohol from a carvery after drinking to excess.

James Duggan strangled Rebecca Ryle to death in Australia and left the teenager’s half-naked body in a field almost exactly 20 years ago. He was deported back to the UK in 2022 after emigrating from Liverpool as a child, but has now been hauled back before the courts in connection with a pub burglary.

Liverpool Crown Court heard this Wednesday afternoon that the 39-year-old had been attending the CookHouse Pub and Carvery in Rainhill as a customer from 4pm on March 29 this year. But at around 11.15pm Duggan was caught on CCTV in a staff-only area before entering the bar, pocketing four bottles of whisky, four bottles of sol lager and three tubes of Pringles and trying to good luck getting access to the house.

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Paul Blasbery, prosecuting, described how he then left the premises but was later identified by police officers from the video footage. The defendant was arrested on April 8 and told detectives he “didn’t remember going upstairs” to the restricted section of the pub, although he “remembered being in the bar” and admitted there was a robbery.

Duggan, of no fixed address but formerly of School Lane, had three previous convictions for four offences, including being jailed for life with a minimum term of 11 years in April 2006 after being convicted of Ms Ryle’s murder. The Supreme Court of Western Australia heard during the trial that he met his 19-year-old victim in a pub in Perth on the evening of May 5, 2004, and offered to drive her home.

But he then strangled her for three minutes in a park just meters from her home and left her partially clothed body in a field to be found by police hours later. Judge Lindy Jenkins said she died “lonely and degraded”, with her killer – who was also a teenager at the time – eventually turning 18.

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