A MAN who recently admitted killing his best friend 25 years ago in Chelmsley Wood has received an 11 and a half year jail sentence.
Mark Masefield, 43, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 17-year-old Anthony Pryke, whose body was discovered by workmen clearing a storm drain in Bluebell Drive.
Anthony was reported missing in August 1987, with contractors making the grisly discovery a few months later.
Last July, Masefield handed himself into police and admitted the killing. He denied murder and claimed he had killed Anthony in self defence; striking him over the head with a scaffolding pole during an argument.
Anthony’s family were at Birmingham Crown Court last Thursday (January 26) for Masefield’s sentencing.
Outside the court, Anthony’s brother, David Pryke and sister, Caroline Doyle, said: “As a family still in grief after almost 25 years, we are satisfied with the manslaughter sentence given to Mark Masefield.
“We also understand why a charge of murder has not been pursued.
“We can finally have closure into our dear brother’s death and hope that Anthony can now rest in peace knowing his killer is behind bars.
“The way Anthony was killed and the disrespectful way his body was hidden for months in a manhole is heart wrenching. Masefield could have saved us years of trauma if he had taken responsibility for his crime earlier.
“This is not about the sentence but about finally getting justice for Anthony and also for clearing the name of his brother David who some had blamed for Anthony’s death.”