Manchester United Balls: A Killer In The Hotel And The Newspaper Offices
THE Sun leads with news of Manchester United and the killer in the hotel.
The story is:
MANCHESTER United legends Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs have unwittingly used a convicted killer to promote their new hotel opposite Old Trafford. Model Kevin O’Dea, jailed in 2008 after 24-year-old student Sion Hardy died in a brawl outside a Liverpool nightclub, features in website photos.
Man who served his time gets work. The Sun should support that. The Sun, after all, has employed award-winning chief reporter, John Kay. In Stick It Up Your Punter – The Uncut Story Of The Sun Newspaper (pages 70-71), Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie recall the time Mr Kay was “temporarily deranged” and drowned his wife in a bath and then attempted to take his own life by “cutting his wrists, putting his head in the gas oven, hanging himself and finally jumping out of the window”.
Police found him. In court he pleaded “guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility; this was accepted by the court.” The Sun, true to their word, stood by him.
The Sun was noble and right. It understood the trauma and the horror.
Mr Kay served his time. But he did not make the front pages.
Back to the Sun, which hears from a grieving man:
Dad Robin Hardy said he could never forgive his son’s killer — who as a model was hired to advertise the football legends’ new hotel.. But the ex-Premier League stars did not realise O’Dea was previously jailed for manslaughter over a brawl that killed Hardy.
The victim’s dad said: “Sion, like me, was a Manchester United fan. I guess they must think he’s served his time but I’ll never forgive him for taking my son away. He’s been released but I feel I have a life sentence.”
He sounds reasonable. He sounds wounded.
Chartered surveyor Robin, 55, of Bangor, North Wales, added: “I was not happy with the sentence but you have to move on. I, like my daughter Sara, believe you have to move on with life or you will be destroyed by bitterness.”
The photos of O’Dea have now been removed from the website. But they are on the Sun’s cover. Is that fair on Mr O’Dea? He’s being monstered. He’s not being allowed to move on because he got a job. We don’t hear from him. He’s just the “killer”.