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Boy who said 'Accrington Stanley?' line in famous milk advert jailed for murder

Kevin Spaine, 43, was found guilty of the murder of Learoy Venner, who was repeatedly punched and kicked in a brutal assault in Liverpool.

Kevin Spaine has been jailed for life after being convicted of murder. (Reach)
Kevin Spaine has been jailed for life after being convicted of murder. (Reach)

A murderer who beat a man to death 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 53-year-old Learoy Venner, who was repeatedly punched and kicked in a brutal assault at a flat in Anfield, Liverpool, last July.

Spaine returned to Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, where he was jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years.

John Harrison KC, appearing on behalf of the killer, told the court during his sentencing that his client was formerly a "very promising young footballer" and even starred in the famous television ad for the Milk Marketing Board in 1989.

Victim Leroy Abbey Venner died after suffering head injuries from the assault. (Reach)
Victim Leroy Venner died after suffering head injuries from the assault. (Reach)
Kevin Splaine alongside Carl Rice (Pictured) in the famous television ad for the Milk Marketing Board in 1989. (Reach)
Kevin Splaine (pictured) appeared in the ad alongside Rice. (Reach)

Spaine was one of two boys seen in the clip, alongside co-star Carl Rice, clad in Liverpool FC kits.

He is only briefly sighted on camera, walking through the shot before it focuses on Carl.

Spaine later delivers the familiar line "Accrington Stanley, who are they?"

Mr Harrison said Spaine's life spiralled into one of crime and drugs, leading to around 40 appearances before the court for nearly 100 offences and ultimately culminating in Mr Venner's murder.

A trial previously heard that the victim had been living at the address on Belmont Drive temporarily at the time of the incident on 27 July last year, sleeping on a camp bed in the lounge.

Alan Kent KC, prosecuting, described how the apartment was "being used as a drug den", with Spaine among its frequent visitors.

But he 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 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.

Police outside the scene of the murder on Belmont Drive in Anfield. (Reach)
Police outside the scene of the murder on Belmont Drive in Anfield. (Reach)
Kevin Spaine beat a man to death at a flat in Liverpool. (Reach)
Kevin Spaine beat a man to death at a flat in Liverpool. (Reach)

He was arrested on suspicion of murder on Edge Lane that evening.

Under interview with detectives, Spaine later stated that Mr Venner - from Toxteth - had "taken two swings at him" and he had returned four or five blows "in self-defence".

A post-mortem investigation revealed that he had suffered "multiple forceful blows", causing a brain injury - "the sort of trauma usually associated with a car crash or a fall from height".

It was later revealed since 1999, Spaine's criminal record included convictions for dealing heroin and crack cocaine, wounding and assault with intent to rob.

Sentencing, 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.”