The drug boss behind a brutal murder showed no emotion when listening to the heartbreaking words of his victim's grieving father.

Joseph McKeever, from Walton, suffered a "merciless beating" after he was wrongly blamed for £900,000 of cannabis failing to arrive in Liverpool.

The dad-of-one was "lured" to a shipping container at MGM Garage in Kensington, where hours of "unimaginable" torture began.

The 54-year-old was later moved to a Wavertree flat, where the violence continued, until he died in the early hours of June 15, 2017.

That night his battered body was taken in the boot of a stolen Ford Focus to wasteland in Everton, where the car was set ablaze.

Lee Knox, 43, was today found guilty of false imprisonment and murder - the sixth man to be convicted in connection with the killing.

Joseph McKeever senior made a victim statement at the conclusion of the first trial over his son's murder, in February 2018.

Tim Storrie, QC, prosecuting, said the now 85-year-old wanted it to be read out at Liverpool Crown Court again today.

The grandad said he would "never forget" the day police called at his home, after his son's body was found.

He said: "A man of 82 years should not have to hear the news I received. It should be my son burying me.

"It was unbelievable. I never ever thought that could happen to me. I was shocked and saddened."

Lee Knox, 43, formerly of Canal View, Melling

He added: "I thought maybe he had met a nice lady and was happy. I had been calling his home address, but I never got a response.

"My son Joseph did not deserve to die in this way."

Mr McKeever snr explained he lived in Bootle and worked on the docks when he and his wife found out they were expecting a baby in 1962.

He said their only child enjoyed a happy childhood with many friends, loved football and had a trial at Birmingham City FC as a teenager.

The OAP said: "Joseph in his adult life developed a massive love for Everton. He and his son later in his life became season ticket holders."

The court heard his son did "very well" at school and became an estate agent, then later qualified as a health and safety officer.

He owned properties across Liverpool but lived with his dad in Walton, after splitting with the mum of his now 18-year-old son, Joe.

Mr McKeever snr said: "My son was a good son, very outgoing. He would make friends with everyone. He would not hurt anyone.

"He was always here for me, as I was always here for him. If I needed any jobs doing, Joseph would help.

"My son Joseph was a great dad. He loved the bones of his son. They saw each other often and spoke daily.

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"Joseph wanted to be with his son as often as he could. Joseph would be taking young Joe on holidays, the last one being Belgium.

"He took Liam, Joe junior's step brother, and Joseph junior to Florida. They loved each other's company, as I did too."

Mr McKeever suffered two broken kneecaps, broken eye sockets and a "massive" brain injury, before he was strangled.

His dad stated: "I never in a million years believed that he had been murdered, put in a car and the car set on fire.

"My son, Joseph did not deserve to die in this way. My life will never ever be the same. I miss him so much."

His dad said the victim was "so well loved by all his friends" and he could not fathom what had happened.

He said: "Even now at the time of writing this, I am filling up. I miss Joseph for his company, watching football and putting the world to rights.

"I have not been able to attend court because I have just not been able to. I am now 83 and am finding this situation very, very difficult. I have been following it in the Echo.

"I cannot believe what the males responsible did to my son."

In the remainder of the statement, which was not read out today, Mr McKeever snr referred to his son's killers as "animals".

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Judge Andrew Menary, QC, "rejected completely" Knox's claim that he tried to save the victim's life by giving him CPR.

The drug dealer, formerly of Canal View, Melling, was jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years.

Following the first trial, Jamie Grimes, then 21, was convicted of murder and jailed for life with a minimum of 27 years.

Darren Colecozy, then 22, and Karl Kelly, then 31, were convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 22 years each, and Dylan Owen, then 22, was convicted of assisting an offender and locked up for six years.

Just over a year later, Anthony Wales, then 36, admitted murder and was jailed for life with a minimum of 24 years in 2019.