A man who broke into the house of any person he wrongly suspected was a paedophile earlier than beating him to dying, has been jailed for lifestyles.
Edward Fitzgerald, 50, burst into Raymond Dixon’s space on February 11 and killed him whilst two others raided his house for valuables.
As Fitzgerald, 50, punched Mr Dixon to dying, Lee Hopkinson, 30, and Anthony Dennison, 45, stole a 40-inch TV and a PlayStation from his house in Bury, Manchester.
Manchester Crown Court heard that Hopkinson had recruited Fitzgerald and Dennison to assist him rob Mr Dixon, described as a ‘frail’ and ‘vulnerable’ man.
He had instructed Fitzgerald the unfounded hearsay about Mr Dixon being a paedophile as a way to get him to hold out the assault.
The 3 males, all drug addicts, left Mr Dixon to die in his house as they went to a pals space a mile away to scrub their garments of forensic proof.
Mr Dixon was described in court docket as dwelling on my own and affected by psychological well being issues. He had most effective not too long ago struck up a friendship together with his next-door neighbour.
The alarm was raised by way of Mr Dixon’s neighbour who discovered his good friend face down and lined in blood.
Mr Dixon had not too long ago instructed the neighbour about Hopkinson, who he stated would ceaselessly flip up at his house simply earlier than his advantages have been paid.
Hopkinson would inform him that he had nowhere to head as a result of his female friend had thrown him out and the pair would proportion medicine bought with the sufferer’s advantages, the court docket heard.
Judge Richard Mansell QC stated: ‘It is completely transparent to me that you simply [Hopkinson] looked Raymond Dixon as a comfortable contact, any person who it’s essential exploit by way of turning up at his flat across the time he was paid his advantages and devour medicine bought together with his cash.
‘However, in your desperation for drugs, you went further and planned to rob him of everything of value in his home.’
The court docket heard the lie that Mr Dixon was a paedophile was ‘nothing but a scurrilous rumour’ and that the sufferer did have earlier convictions however none for sexual offences, or sexual offences in opposition to youngsters.
The pass judgement on instructed Fitzgerald: ‘I am satisfied that you delivered that savage beating to him because of what you believed, either from rumour or more likely from what Hopkinson had told you, that Raymond Dixon was a paedophile.’
Fitzgerald and Dennison each have greater than 100 earlier offences recorded in opposition to them, the court docket heard.
Fitzgerald, who was matter to licence supervision on the time, has earlier convictions for drug dealing, housebreaking and a selection of instances of home violence, together with one the place he kicked his spouse within the face.
Hopkinson additionally has greater than 30 earlier offences together with incidents in jail, when he punched one officer and threw paint and urine at others.
In a remark learn out to court docket on behalf of Mr Dixon’s mom, she stated: ‘I know Raymond wasn’t an angel, however he had a excellent middle.
‘I have good memories of Raymond, and he will always be in my heart.’
Fitzgerald, of Walmersley Road, Bury, was sentenced to a lifestyles sentence to serve a minimal of 23 years.
Hopkinson, of no mounted cope with, was sentenced to 13 years after pleading accountable to manslaughter.
Dennison, of no mounted cope with, gained a five-year sentence after pleading accountable to theft.
Dean Murray, 50, whose space in Heyside Way, Bury, the attackers fled to, was jailed for two years after admitting perverting the process justice.