WAS cleaner turned KFC worker Redvers James Bickley bad or mad?

Did he just lose his temper and simply kill housemate Tyler Denton and stab her two sisters, Cody and Shannen and father Paul in a jealous rage?

Or was it his alter ego James, the bad voice inside him, tell him to kill and directing his actions?

The jury at Mold Crown Court decided he knew what he was doing and rejected his claim that he had an abnormality of mind which diminished his responsibility.

Bickley, a loner and socially awkward who found his escape in comic super heroes, wrote extensively about his thoughts – and his plans to kill.

He showed no emotion or regret – and the prosecution said that the only remorse was for himself.

Saturday, September 9 last year began happily for Tyler Denton of Rhyl – she could have had no inkling that it was the day which would lead to the loss of her life and the devastation of the Denton family’s lives for ever.

She and her sisters, Cody and Shannen, had arranged a “girls’ night in” with Tyler’s new girlfriend, Hayley Barnett, of Ellesmere Port, to celebrate Hayley’s 25th birthday the day after.

They had food and drink, watched “X-Factor” on television and listened to music.

They were having a nice time but Tyler became irritated that her house mate Bickley returned home and they decided to go out for a drive.

At the Gwaenysgor View Point they took some ‘selfies’ and laughed and joked before returning to the house in Llys Aderyn Du in Rhyl at 11.30 p.m..

Prosecuting barrister John Philpotts told the murder trial jury that although, of course, none of them knew it, Tyler Denton had about two hours to live.

Before the night was out she had been stabbed to death by Bickley and the lives of her sisters and father had been changed for ever.

The prosecution said that it was murder, plain and simple, and when her sisters went to her aid he tried to murder them too during a sustained series of attacks.

When dad Paul Denton rushed to scene and tried to protect his daughters, he was also stabbed.


Tyler and Bickley met some years earlier while both worked for a cleaning company, run by his mother Claire Bickley and her partner, Penny Royston.

Although the prosecution said that Tyler and Bickley were never a couple, they were good friends, rather like brother and sister. Bickley claimed that they had been intimate in the past.

They had both lived with his mother from time to time, in Wrexham area and, from November 2014 to March 2015, in Tenerife.

About four months before she died Tyler moved back to Rhyl and had taken the tenancy of 6 Llys Aderyn Du, and he became her housemate.

They had separate bedrooms. They seemed to have a sound friendship and all appeared well, said the prosecutor.

Tyler was working as a cleaner at Cheshire Oaks Shopping Park, in Ellesmere Port. Hayley Barnett was also employed there as a cleaner and she and Tyler developed a close friendship which became a relationship.

That day, Cody went out and bought some party decorations, balloons and the like and prepared the house.

Tyler and Hayley later picked her up, they bought bread and chips and arrived back at the house at about 7.45p.m.

The three had a girly chat and a good laugh, the defendant returned home at about 9 p.m. and then Shannen arrived in her car.

The young women were enjoying their evening, having balloon fights, taking ‘selfies’ and generally having fun.

The atmosphere was fine, although Bickley had been drinking whisky, seemed to be feeling the effects of alcohol, apparently falling asleep and resting his head on his arms on the table.

It was a girls’ night. Bickley was rather out of place and Tyler asked him more than once to go to bed but he did not respond.

Finally, somewhat irritated by his continuing presence, the sisters and Hayley decided to go for a drive. Shannen had not been drinking and so they went in her car.

It was the prosecution case that they told Bickley that they were going but they did not invite him to join them. He said they left without telling him which upset him.

He felt resentful and angry at his exclusion from the evening’s celebration and those feelings may well have been exacerbated by the effects of alcohol.

The sisters and Hayley drove to the Gwaenysgor Hill View Point.

On the way back, Tyler realised that she had two missed calls from Bickley which she did not return.

Tyler did not know that Bickley had access to her iPad and while they were away he had been able to see the mobile phone messages that she had sent Hayley indicating her irritation that Bickley was back at the house that night. That upset him.

Back at the house:

Cody was the first to the front door. It was not locked and she began to open the door.

“What happened next caused her to stop in her tracks and pull the door closed,” said Mr Philpotts.

She heard a groaning noise and saw a shadow move as if towards the front door. A bloodstained hand then appeared.

Tyler then moved to the door and it was opened slightly.

Bickley was standing in the doorway and he said he had smashed a glass. He was reluctant to allow the women into the house but Tyler was insistent.

They entered to be met by the sight of broken glass and blood, on the front door, on a light switch and on the carpet.

As the young women began to clear up the mess, Tyler rebuked him, telling him to go to bed.

He tried to involve himself in the cleaning before saying that he was going for a walk. He left by the front door, slamming it behind him.

The prosecution suggested that rage was building within him. “The clock was ticking,” said Mr Philpotts.

While out of the house he called Tyler and the prosecution said he was trying to make her feel guilty over the fact that he was walking the streets, intoxicated and alone.

After about twenty minutes he returned. He sat the lower part of the staircase in the sitting room.

Cody and Shannen had decided to leave and were preparing to do so.

They had no inkling of the horrific violence which was about to be inflicted upon them.

The attack:

Bickley detonated the anger which the prosecution said had been building within him. He said, ‘Let’s begin,’ uttered in a strange, deep almost Demonic voice.

“He had clearly been thinking about what he was going to do,” said Mr Philpotts.

He approached Cody and sliced her right cheek, using a knife.

He pulled her to the ground where he continued to strike her and thrust the knife into her throat.

She became aware that she was bleeding heavily.

Tyler and Shannen went to their sister’s aid.

He went on to attack all three.

As Shannen left the house, she saw her sisters at the end of the driveway with Bickley on top of them, repeatedly stabbing them.

Shannen ran towards the main street, Maes y Gog. Hayley was with her.

It may well be that, in running away, Shannen had saved Cody’s life.

“She clearly drew his attention from her sisters,” said Mr Philpotts.

He chased Shannen, she turned to face him, and without hesitation, he struck her to the front of her body and knocked her over, face towards on the ground.

As she lay there, he attacked her as he had done her sisters. She felt him repeatedly stab her to the back, head and neck.

This time the stabs were controlled and deliberate, said Mr Philpotts.

He was saying things like ‘Red’s back’, ‘Red’s revenge’ and ‘Red’s return” .

Mr Philpotts told the jury that was clearly the defendant, not his alter ego James.

“He was trying to kill Shannen and, when she pretended to be dead, lying motionless and with her eyes closed, he thought that he had succeeded.

“She had saved her own life because Bickley moved away from her and ran down Maes y Gog in the same direction as Hayley had run.

“As Shannen lay on the floor, she took her mobile telephone out of her pocket and called her father, Paul.

“He told her to end the call to him and to call the police but before she was able to do that she became aware that Bickley had abandoned his pursuit of Hayley and was returning, still saying the sort of things he had said while he was attacking her.”

Shannen crawled to the nearest front door and banged on it. A lady named Amanda Mathie took her in and called 999.

She administered first aid because Shannen was covered in blood. The police and an ambulance arrived.

Back in Llys Aderyn Du, Cody moved through some bushes with Tyler and banged on a white front door.

Though she was covered in blood, Tyler was still standing at that point. They were screaming and banging on the door for help.

Tragically, Tyler was mortally wounded. She became weak and a dead weight upon Cody, who was trying to support her.

Tyler said to her sister, ‘I’m going to die’.

Cody recalled trying to hide Tyler, saw Bickley return and he appeared confused that he was not able to see the sisters.

Neighbour Christopher Campbell had been asleep in his home, was awoken by a banging noise and the sound of a female screaming.

He had looked out of his bedroom window to see Bickley attacking Tyler and Cody before moving off down the cul-de-sac making a low-pitched growling sound.

Mr. Campbell saw Cody dragging Tyler, who was unresponsive, towards some vegetation, clearly to hide her.

From his kitchen window, he saw him attack Cody again, striking her to the floor near Tyler before standing over both of them and delivering more blows. Mr. Campbell saw Paul arrive on the scene and saw him being attacked.

Jason Lloyd was staying with his girlfriend at her parents’ address saw something of the struggle between Bickley and Paul Denton before the police arrived.

Paul had been at home with his wife when Shannen rang and he could not believe what she was telling him.

He realised it was real, he drove as quickly as he could to Llys Aderyn Du and heard his daughter screaming hysterically, shouting ‘We’re over here!’

He saw Bickley on the ground, above Tyler and he was making mumbling, growling and grunting noises.

Bickley stabbed himself twice in the area of his chin or jaw and, when he saw Paul, jumped to his feet and approached him, lunging towards him with the knife in a stabbing motion.

Paul stepped back and Bickley turned his attention to Cody.

The prosecutor said Paul jumped on the defendant’s back.

He responded by repeatedly attempting to stab Paul in a backward motion and succeeded in stabbing him to the head and neck.

During the attack, Paul asked him why on earth he was doing it and Bickley replied “it’s him, it’s him” which the defence said was a reference to his alter ego James.

With Cody’s help, Paul overpowered him and, after a struggle, disarmed him of the knife, throwing it towards the road.

During the struggle, Bickley was saying ‘I’m going to kill you.’

Bickley then ran as fast as he could out of the cul-de-sac. Paul called for help but one came.

He returned to his daughters. Tyler was not speaking.

At one stage Cody told him to come back to them so that they could die together.

At 00.05am Bickley tried to call his mother.

In fact, he spoke to her partner and told her, ‘I’ve done something stupid. I love you. Tell the kids I love them.’ He gave her the PIN to his bank account and told her to give his money to children of the family.

He said that he was planning to hurt himself. The prosecution said that he was thinking and acting clearly and rationally.

Bickley was arrested near an electricity substation.

He gave himself up and said ‘I killed someone’ and ‘I’m guilty’ or ‘I confess to murder’

Once seated in the police car he said ‘Do you know how hard it is to love someone and not have them love you back?’ and words to the effect of ‘I’m going to live. That’s not justice.’

Tyler told officers she was hurting ‘all over’. In the ambulance en route to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd she said, ‘I can’t breathe. I’m dying’.

She went into cardiac arrest and every effort to resuscitate her failed. It was decided to turn off her life support machine and her parents were consulted. Her father was wheeled from ‘A and E’ and positioned so that he could hold her hand for one last time.

CPR was ceased and Tyler Denton was pronounced dead at 01.31am.

Her two sisters and father were treated for serious stab wounds.

Hayley had run up Maes y Gog. She flagged down a passing car. By coincidence, it was driven by a man Harri Richards who worked with Bickley at KFC in Rhuddlan.

She told him what had happened and he told her to get into his car. As she did so, Bickley appeared, running towards the car and screaming. Mr Richards drove to the police station


In Interview Bickley that he loved her and wanted a relationship with her but that Tyler had never wanted to commit to a relationship with him.

The prosecution said he was obsessed with her. When his iPad was examined following his arrest it was found to contain intrusive photographs of her sunbathing in Tenerife.

Although he said that he was supportive of Tyler’s relationship with Hayley, he feared that she would move out of the house he shared with her.

He felt as if his life was on a downward spiral and spoke of his alter ego- a side of his character into which he concentrated all the negative aspects of his life and which he gave the name ‘James’.

He said that this character had ‘dark thoughts’ including of killing people.

In the past, he had felt that he needed to ‘control his temper more. He owned a punch-bag.

In the past, after they had had an argument, he said he thought about killing Tyler by stabbing her in the throat as she slept.

He said that he would imagine a figure in black stabbing people through the heart with a sword.

Bickley said he felt Tyler did not want him in the house when she was entertaining her sisters and Hayley.

When they all went out for a drive he had felt ‘really shit’ because he had been ‘left out’. He had been drinking. He said that reading the messages about him had annoyed him and ‘got to’ him.

He described how he had ‘gone into a rage’, broken a glass and cut his hand before cutting his hand deliberately with his orange and black lock knife, which he collected from his bedroom.

When the young women returned and saw glass and the blood, they had been looking at each other as if he was ‘weird’.

At some point he had changed into black clothing. He said that he remembered being on the stairs whilst the women were discussing whether to leave, taking the knife from his pocket and attacking Cody with it, ‘taking the knife to her throat’ and ‘stabbing her in the neck….plunging it in.’

He admitted that he had used ‘a lot’ of force, though he said that he did not know what his intention was. He said that the next thing that he remembered was walking away from the house and then ‘going back for Tyler’ because he had a knife and blood on his hands.

He said it was to check on her, not to finish her off, and that he had ‘found her curled up outside someone’s door…covered in blood.’

Bickley said that she had said words to the effect of ‘I’m dead now..’ She sounded scared. He still had the knife in his hand. He said that he remembered being ‘tackled’ by Paul and trying to hit him. He said that he thought that he ‘stabbed him a few times to get him off”, twice to the neck.

He said that he did not remember what he called ‘the middle bit’, the attacks on Tyler and Shannen but accepted that he was responsible for the injuries suffered by them all.

The prosecution said he confessed to murder.

They were the actions of a man who knew that he had issues with his temper and had lost it that night, with tragic consequences for the Denton family. He knew exactly what he was doing,” said Mr Philpotts.

That was not to say that he was not a fantasist. Two notepads were found in his bedroom.

He had written : “you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

my younger self was so full of morals things he would not do, lines he would not cross, I’ve crossed them all, there can be no rules or lines if you are to be truly free you must be willing to do whatever it takes to make the world a better place

It becomes easier once you separate (sic) yourself become two people in a way, one persona to blend in and the other to do the unspeakable things that must be done

Psychiatric evidence:

The jury heard evidence given by two psychiatrists – called by the defence and the prosecution.

Dc Noir Thomas for the defence said that Bickley suffered from a mental disorder which significantly impaired his ability to control himself.

He said that Bickley had unusual beliefs, including his alter ego James, and had paranoid ideas and suspiciousness. He felt people were plotting against him and being derogative about him.

Bickley had abnormal and bizarre ideas and Dr Thomas said his view was that he best fitted a schizotypal disorder which he felt had been present for a number of years.

Bickley displayed seven of the 14 possible symptoms.

His claimed second identity of James together with violent imagery was quite abnormal bordering on psychotic.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Sandeep Mathews said Bickley had no previous contact with psychiatric services

He claimed his alter ego which he named James spoke to him from an early age.

Dr Mathews, called by the prosecution, described him as a voice in his head asking him to do things.

However it was self-reported with no corroborative evidence – he had not been independently observed being disturbed by them.

Dr Mathews said: “My opinion is slightly different. He was socially awkward and had difficulty in relationships.”

The doctor said he was not entirely convinced, on balance he did not think he was suffering from a schizotypal disorder.

Even if it was accepted that he did, it was doubtful that he suffered from an abnormality of mental functioning at the time.

“I did not think that he could not exercise self-control,” he said.

“I think when he stabbed the group of people and from the footage he was quite composed in his actions,” he said.

His intoxicated disinvited him.

Bickley accepted that he had knifed them.

He said what he had done was not him – and said he had been fighting another bad side of himself from inside who had been getting stronger.

Bickley said he had been aware of the other violent side of him – who he called James after his middle name - since he was a child, but had always been able to keep him under control previously.

The night James had come to the forefront and had taken control of him.

Bickley said he did not remember changing into dark clothes but remembered going to get the knife.

He came back downstairs with the knife in his hand, he felt low and depressed and felt it was his fault that Tyler was annoyed with him and that he could not do anything right.

Bickley said he was upset and blaming himself when they left.

When Tyler, her partner Hayley, and sisters Cody and Shannen arrived back at the house after a birthday celebration, he sat on the stairs.

“I remember getting up, walking to Cody and stabbing her in the neck,” he said.

“I don’t know why. I did not feel anger or hatred towards her or anything like that.”

He said he remembered stabbing her with the knife twice.

Defending barrister Patrick Harrington QC asked if he targeted the neck, and he replied: “I would have said so.”

Asked why he did it, he said he did not know.

His next memory was being outside, around the corner of the house walking away.

He stopped, looked at his hands which were covered in blood and went back to check on Tyler.

Bickley said he had no collection of stabbing Tyler or Shannen.

He found Tyler who was curled up with her legs to the stomach and she was not moving.

The words he remembered she was saying was “I am hurting – I am dead now.”

Her top was covered in blood and he realised he must have done it.

He was not aware of a vehicle and the father Paul Denton arriving and said he remembered being on the ground trying to fight someone off.

“I tried to push him off first but I could not, he was too heavy. I remember hitting him with my right hand, I still had the knife and I accept that I stabbed Paul, “ he said.

Bickley said he ran off and tried to stab himself in the throat three times.

He said he had no recollection of seeing a car which Hayley had got into and did not know that he had attacked Shannen.

Bickley said he left and was on a house roof at one stage when he called his mother.

He did not remember earlier telling Paul Denton: “You have got to kill me Paul, it’s him. Kill me now. I can’t stop.”

Bickley said he did not recall some of the comments he made to the police.

But he said he loved Tyler like a friend or family and denied being obsessed with her.

He denied Mr Philpotts’ suggestion that he worshipped her.

When he told police he was sorry for what he had done and that he did not deserve to live, they were genuine feelings.

At that point he thought he had killed all of them and that he did not deserve to live.

The court heard how in police interviewed, he spoke of how the bad side of him, James, had become a part of him.

Bickley told the jury he did not feel he acted as himself when he did what he did.

“No. it is just not who I am. I do not get violent. I only use violence as a defence not to attack someone. They did not deserve it,” he said.

He never had any bad feelings or animosity towards any of them and said he did not want to injure or kill Tyler.

Bickey said the manifestation of James in his mind felt a part of him which was different to him.

“It got to a point where I needed to differentiate between ourselves,” he said.

When he first named it James he was 12 or 13.

“As a child I was always aware that there was something inside of me,” he said.

When he was aged about four he had an operation on his ears and his mum said in the middle of the op he woke and ripped all the wires out in a rage.

“When all that was going on I had like a dream that there were two sides to me, a good side and a bad side and they were fighting over who would control my body,” he said.

“I remember waking up really scared and was crying.”

It did not make sense but from then he knew there was something inside him which was different.

It had been there ever since. He was conscious of it on a daily basis.

Later on it affected his behaviour when he was a teenager possible 14 or 15.

“I think that was around the time the voice wanted me to hurt people, physically,” he said.

He did not succumb to it – he held back, and was scared of giving in to it.

When others broke his glasses in school he would not fight back.

In the months and weeks leading to September, the influence “of the person within me” was growing stronger.

Bickley said: “It is hard to explain, it was like a battle in your mind, it feels as if your mind is going to explode in some ways.

“I became more and more aware that I was losing the fight against him.”

It influenced what he wore and he started to wear black clothing.

He tried to take his own life a few weeks begore the incident.

“I felt really low, I felt I was not in control of myself, not in control of my life, I did not have anyone to walk to, I felt I wanted to end it really.”

Bickley, 21, of LLys Aderyn Du in Rhyl, denied murdering Tyler and attempting to murder her dad Paul and her two sisters Shannen and Cody in September of last year.