Daniel Styles (known locally as Daniel George Hopper), 32 of Clare Crescent in Leatherhead has been sentenced to life in prison, to serve a minimum of 19 years after being found guilty of murdering Philip Bagwell earlier this year.
The sentence follows a three week trial which took place at Guildford Crown Court and concluded yesterday with a guilty verdict. During the trial, evidence was heard from Surrey Police Officers and forensic teams.
Officers were called to Phillip Bagwell’s home address in North Street in Leatherhead on Wednesday, 10 June after neighbours discovered his body in the building’s lift. Styles was swiftly identified as the main suspect through various enquiries including CCTV and was arrested on the same day. He was charged on Saturday, 13 June and remanded until his trial began on Wednesday, 25 November.
The trial revealed how Styles had subjected Phillip Bagwell to months of abuse and manipulation before he violently assaulted him, leaving him for dead in the early hours of the morning following a night of drinking and an argument over a bottle of gin. Styles is then seen on CCTV returning to Phillip’s flat to go to sleep. In evidence given, Styles was described as a bully and a “Jekyll and Hyde style character” who used Phillip’s flat as he pleased.
The trial at Guildford Crown Court concluded yesterday where the jury found Styles to be guilty of murder. He appeared in court again this morning where he was sentenced to life behind bars, to serve a minimum of 19 years.
Phillip Bagwell's family have paid tribute to him:
Phillip Bagwell was a well-loved, kind and gentle family man, friend and devoted dad.
Life is a precious thing and Phillip’s life being taken in this brutal act of cold blooded violence on June 10th has been like the sky falling in for us. Phillip did not deserve to have his life taken in this frightening way.
We have cried many tears and are devastated and will never forget Phillip and our hearts will never heal from the sadness we feel.
With Phillip taken from our futures all we now have is the happy memories we can cherish of him.
The trial has been an extremely traumatic experience and we have had to sit through every detail of Phillip’s brutal death.
The family would like to pay special thanks to Les Yeomans and Michelle Young at the police family liaison who have kindly supported us over the last seven emotional months and through the trial at Guildford Crown Court. It has been hard to cope as this has been the most stressful seven months of our lives. It has been a surreal and traumatic experience and hard to comprehend why this has happened.
Thank you also to DCI Chris Friday, DS Mark Pendleton, DC Kirsty Walker, DC Vicky Fry and their colleagues at Surrey Police who have worked tirelessly on this extensive investigation and to members of the public who helped them bravely giving statements and information.
With Phillip being murdered by this man, all we could hope for was justice and this man to be off the streets to prevent another family going through this traumatic experience.
We will look out tonight for the stars coming out and lighting up the sky for Phillip. Phillip will forever be in our hearts and part of us as we have to now carry on with our lives.
Phillip we will all love you ‘til the end of time.