A CAREER criminal who murdered a hard-working father-of-two as he tried to stop him stealing his Range Rover from the driveway of his Barnsley home has been jailed for life.
David Matthew Sindall, 34, who has 21 previous convictions for 49 offences, was the subject of a six-month suspended sentence for burglary offences when he burgled the home of haulage company boss Dean Armitage, 49.
Sindall removed a handbag, shopping bag and car keys from the kitchen before attacking Mr Armitage as he tried to protect his property outside.
Mr Armitage ran to the driveway in his underwear after someone staying at the property heard the caritting in the driver’s seat of a car with the door open.
A neighbour saw Mr Armitage grab hold of Sindall as if to pull him out of the vehicle and as they grappled, Sindall was heard saying “I’ll show you” before striking Mr Armitage on the left side of the head with what was thought to be a lit torch.
The blow made Mr Armitage stumble. They staggered backwards and fell together, then Mr Armitage’s head hit the wall of the house or the driveway.
Mr Armitage was taken to hospital for a brain scan and neurosurgery after the incident in the early hours of July 21 last year but he died almost three weeks later, on August 9, having never regained consciousness.
Sindall, of Selbourne Street, Rotherham, had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder.
A jury at Sheffield Crown Court found him guilty of murder on Wednesday.
Handing Sindall a minimum term of 25 years in prison yesterday, Mr Justice Stephen Males said Mr Armitage worked hard all his life to provide for his family and was well-regarded by all who knew him.
He said: “While Dean Armitage was a man who built up a business and a home for his family by his hard work, you are a man who preferred to get things by stealing them.”
He added: “The fact that you committed these offences during the period when you were subject to a suspended sentence demonstrates, as you have for most of your life, a complete disregard for the requirement of law.”
In a victim impact statement read out in court, Mr Armitage’s wife, Mandy, said: “My husband Dean meant the world to me. Losing him is the hardest thing I have ever had to suffer. Dean will never get to see his children married and our two daughters won’t have their dad on their special day to walk them down the aisle.
“He will never get to see the grandchildren he so longed for.
“Losing Dean has not only devastated our family but also the many friends we have. He was a well-liked and loved person and we were overwhelmed by the amount of people who attended his funeral.”