VIDEO: Jail for stepdad killer

A TEENAGER broke down in tears after seeing her brother jailed for life for the murder of her father.

Kayleigh Hancock, aged 16, was hysterical outside the courtroom - where her mother was also sent to prison for trying to cover up for her killer son.

Convicted - Jay Griffiths.

Convicted - Jay Griffiths.

Jay Griffiths, also known as Jonathan Hancock, was given a life sentence at Sheffield Crown Court and ordered by a judge to serve a minimum of 15 years.

Griffiths admitted strangling Andrew Massarella, aged 40, at his flat in Callander Court, Cantley, on Christmas Eve 2011.

Kayleigh’s mother, Zena Hancock, 45, of Highbury Avenue, Cantley, received 19 months for perverting the course of justice - by arranging for her son to head for a hideaway in Scarborough.

Hancock’s uncle Robert Danby, 62, of Dentons Way, Kirk Sandall, was given two years after admitting the same offence.

Danby had issued threats to Griffiths’ girlfriend, Michelle Parr, to ensure her silence but a few months later she went to the police with evidence that led to the murder conviction.

Initially police thought Mr Massarella, an amphetamine addict, had committed suicide.

A flex was tied twice around his neck before a fire broke out in his flat and, because the door to the flat was locked, detectives thought no-one else was involved.

But the new evidence revealed Griffiths had his own set of keys - which he threw into the sea once in Scarborough.

The court heard Mr Massarella used to live with Zena Hancock for six years in a ‘violent and volatile’ relationship.

When he moved out, stepson Griffiths went to live with Mr Massarella for 18 months - but while there was involved in drug abuse, watched violent videos, and suffered violence at his stepfather’s hands.

Mr Justice Coulson said the pair ‘maintained a complex relationship characterised by strong affection and much anger’.

On the night before Christmas Eve, 26-year-old Griffiths got drunk and went to the flat, goaded Mr Massarella about his amphetamine abuse, and the men argued before he wound the flex twice round his stepdad’s neck.

The judge said Hancock and Danby both knew Griffiths had committed a serious crime and both lied to police.

Griffiths had previously been jailed for violent robberies, and the court heard he once planned to pay £100 to have Mr Massarella attacked with a baseball bat.

After the case Det Supt Terry Mann said: “This has been a long and complex case. The fire damage caused to Andrew’s flat made the assessment of the crime scene very difficult for our forensic teams and other specialists. The circumstances of that fateful Christmas Eve did not become clear until much later in the investigation.

“Extensive forensic tests and analysis showed the cause of death to be strangulation, with a discarded cigarette being the probable cause of a slow burning fire.

“I would like to thank the public for coming forward with key information, which greatly assisted the police investigation. The family have remained determined for those responsible to appear in court, and today they have had the satisfaction that justice has now been served.”

Mr Massarella’s parents, Nick and Diane, and his siblings, Louise, Richard and Maria, said: “Andrew was a much loved son, brother and uncle.

“Our family were devastated when Andrew died. He had everything to live for. We will never understand why Jay Griffiths did what he did. He cannot begin to understand the loss that we feel.

“We would like to thank the police and all the witnesses and other agencies involved in bringing Jay Griffiths to justice.”