Rotherham thug convicted of manslaughter after 'cowardly' attack on vulnerable man

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A THUG who carried out a ‘cowardly and brutal’ attack on a vulnerable man as he lay in bed at his home in the Maltby area of Rotherham has been convicted of manslaughter.

Adam Gordon Goodridge, 30, of Huntington Way, Maltby, was today (Weds Dec 14) found guilty of manslaughter by a jury following a two-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

Paul Sandford

Paul Sandford

Paul Sandford, 38. also known as Paul Dyson, was sleeping at his home in Littlehey Close, Maltby, in the early hours of Friday October 30 last year when Goodridge entered then house and attacked him.

Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Simon Palmer, ,said: “Goodridge started making threats and hurling abuse at Mr Sandford as he lay in bed, threatening that if he did not move from the area within a week, he would be killed.”

“He then went to shake Mr Sanford’s hand but instead, punched him in the face a number of times before taking a photograph of Mr Sandford’s injuries.

“Goodridge briefly left the room and even had the audacity to say that he would buy Mr Sandford’s friends a beer, before returning to the room to continue his attack.

“He told Mr Sandford’s friends to tell ambulance staff that he had fallen in the bath, but when emergency services arrived, it was clear that his injuries has been caused by this unprovoked, cowardly and brutal attack.”

Mr Sandford was admitted to hospital with a bleed on the brain, a fractured eye socket, and severe cuts and bruising to his face and hands.

He died in hospital on Wednesday November 4 2015.

Following a CCTV appeal, Goodridge was identified and subsequently handed himself in to police a few days later.

The CCTV footage showed Goodridge leaving the house and walking calmly down the street. He was wearing a distinctive Help for Heroes hooded jumper, which has never been recovered.

Detective Inspector Palmer added: “I would like to thank members of the public for their help in coming forward with information following the release of the CCTV footage and their support throughout the investigation.

“I also want to praise the work of the officers who have helped us to get this case to court and get justice for Mr Sandford’s family and friends.

“I am aware that allegations were made from within the community regarding Mr Sandford’s character. However I’d like to stress that these comments were unfounded and despite concerns raised about his lifestyle choices, Mr Sandford was a well-liked and respectable man, and his family have suffered a tragic loss as a result of his death.”

“Goodridge took away the remaining time Paul may have had with his loved ones and that’s something that can never be replaced.”

Goodridge will be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court tomorrow (Thurs December 15).

Mr Sandford’s family hsaid in a statement following the verdict: “Paul’s death has left a gaping hole in our hearts which is never going to heal.

"From the age of eight, Paul had suffered from ongoing health problems and the indescribable actions of Goodridge on that night has robbed us of the precious time we had left with him.

“We should be making lasting, happy memories with him right now, but instead we are left with the utter devastation of having our son, brother and friend taken away from us.

“Although we will never be able to get over his death, today’s verdict goes some way towards helping us to get closure and we all feel relieved that Goodridge will be sent to jail for what he did to Paul.

“Paul was a kind, caring and sensitive man who was part of a close-knit family. He had a good group of friends and he will be forever missed.

“We also want to thank all of the police officers and staff who have helped to bring Paul’s killer to justice, for their dedication and the support they have given us through this extremely difficult time.”