Kevin Spaine (right) who was in the famous TV advert has been jailed for the murder of Mr Venner (left) (Picture: Liverpool Echo)
A murderer who beat another man to death in a ‘drug den’ starred in the iconic ‘Accrington Stanley, who are they?’ advert as a child, a court heard.
Kevin Spaine, 43, was found guilty of the murder of Learoy Venner, after he repeatedly punched and kicked him to death at a flat in Anfield last year.
Spaine was today jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years at Liverpool Crown Court.
During sentencing, John Harrison KC, said his client was formerly a ‘very promising young footballer’ and starred in a famous TV ad for the Milk Marketing Board in 1989.
Spaine was one of two boys seen in the clip, and is only on camera for a few seconds as he walks through the shot, before it focusses on his co-star Carl Rice.
The defendant is heard asking ‘have you got any lemonade?’, to which the other junior footballer replies: ‘If you want.’
As he then pours himself a glass of milk, Spaine reacts by saying: ‘Milk? Eurgh.’
Spaine is set to spend life with a minimum of 18 years behind bars for the murder (Picture: Liverpool Echo)
Leroy Abbey Venner was beaten to death by Spaine in the brutal attack last year (Picture: Liverpool ECHO)
His friend tells him: ‘It’s what Ian Rush drinks. He said if I drink lots of milk, when I grow up I’m going to be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.’
Spaine then delivers the familiar line ‘Accrington Stanley, who are they?’ before a young Mr Rice responds with ‘exactly’.
His role in the TV advert had until now been incorrectly credited to ‘Kevin Staine’.
But his life spiralled into one of crime and drugs in the coming year, leading to around 40 appearances before the court for nearly 100 offences and culminating in Mr Venner’s murder.
Since 1999, his criminal record includes convictions for dealing heroin and crack cocaine, wounding and assault with intent to rob.
Mr Harrison said in his mitigation: ‘This defendant’s life has been ruined and dominated by the abuse of illegal drugs. He has a very long history of criminal offending.
‘We know he’s been in this situation for 20 years or more, but he wasn’t always like that.
‘Mr Spaine was a very promising young footballer, and he appeared in a very famous advertisement on the television – an advert for milk involving Accrington Stanley.
Spaine was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court today (Picture: Liverpool Echo)
‘He played a part in that advertisement. At an age of 10 or 12, or however old he was, he had a promising future.
‘Shortly afterwards, he sinks into a life of criminality. Twenty years later, he is convicted of murder.
‘It’s not an unfamiliar spiral to the court, but it is a tragic one. Of course, he respects the jury’s verdict.’
A trial previously heard that Mr Venner had been living at the address temporarily at the time of the incident on July 27, last year.
He had been sleeping on a camp bed in the lounge, in what Alan Kent KC described as a ‘drug den’, with Spaine among its frequent visitors.
But Spaine was refused entry by the victim shortly after midday on the day in question.
He was eventually let in by returning tenant Mark Kelly, who then left again to top up the electricity meter.
It was at this point that Mr Venner was fatally assaulted, with Spaine leaving him lying unconscious and going to his mum’s house to change his clothes afterwards.
He was arrested on suspicion of murder that evening, at which point he responded: ‘That’s a big charge, what do you mean murder?’
Sentencing this morning, Judge Brian Cummings KC said: ‘Only you will know the detail of what happened in the flat at that time. You have shown yourself to be a shocking liar.
‘I do not find this was a murder for gain. However I am sure when you gained access to the flat, having been kept hanging around, those things led you to launch a ferocious attack upon him.
‘He had no chance of escaping you or fighting you off. You attacked and killed a man whom you knew to be weak and in poor health.
‘I accept that the eruption of violence occurred spontaneously, albeit you were in an agitated state having regard to the fact you’d been kept waiting outside.
‘You left him unconscious on his back and breathing in his own blood for something like half an hour before he actually died.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Spaine was a ‘very promising young footballer’ and starred in a famous TV ad for the Milk Marketing Board in 1989.