Murderers Ian Mitchell and Sarah Pearson Spent Stolen Money on Drunken Bender After Killing Stephen Kershaw

Bradford, United Kingdom – A woman and her fiancé have been sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of the woman’s stepfather, whom they then used for funds to fuel their drunken escapades.

Ian Mitchell, 35, and Sarah Pearson, 23, were found guilty of killing 65-year-old Stephen Kershaw in September 2022. They were seen on CCTV using Kershaw’s bank card and were later caught after Pearson confessed to the crime during a one night stand with a stranger.

The court heard that Kershaw had moved into his home in September 2021 and was joined by Mitchell when he was released from prison. Over time, the pair used violence to force Kershaw into giving them money for drugs and alcohol, leaving him dependent on food banks as his funds depleted.

According to the prosecution, Kershaw had confided in his daughter and neighbors, expressing his frustration with living with Mitchell and Pearson. He revealed that the couple would get nasty with him when they didn’t get their way and would ask for money for drugs, leading to arguments and broken possessions.

As Kershaw’s last known whereabouts were on September 11, 2022, his daughter reported him missing the next day when he did not make contact. Subsequently, police discovered the horrifying truth.

After using Kershaw’s bank card to purchase clothes and make withdrawals, the couple’s actions raised suspicions leading to the discovery of Kershaw’s body hidden in his room. The court also heard chilling details from Pearson, who confessed to her acquaintance that she held Kershaw down while the man with her smothered him, claiming that the victim had given them permission to kill him.

The presiding judge handed both Mitchell and Pearson life sentences, with Mitchell ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars and Pearson a minimum of 19 years. The judge condemned the pair for their parasitic and abusive behavior, noting that they subjected Kershaw to violence before or after his death. Both defendants were also made the subject of restraining orders.