Two men who bound, beat and then stabbed a disabled man to death were jailed for life yesterday.
Sean Swindon and Michael Peart forced their way into the home of defenceless Keith Philpott before taking several hours to sadistically torture him to death.
Mr Philpott was bound and gagged and then repeatedly punched, kicked and stamped during a sustained attack at his flat in Teesside.
Swindon then stabbed Mr Philpott in the abdomen before disembowelling him and leaving his bloodstained and mutilated body tied up in the flat.
Swindon, 24, believed the 36-year-old victim was in a sexual relationship with his teenage sister and enlisted Peart, 22 – a self-confessed paedophile-hater – to help in the murder.
Teesside Crown Court was told that Mr Philpott lived alone in a flat at Axbridge Court, High Grange, Billingham, despite suffering learning difficulties caused by complications during his birth. His home had become a magnet for teenagers and Mr Philpott struck up a friendship with Swindon’s teenage sister, Gemma, 19.
Swindon believed the victim was sexually abusing his younger sister and enlisted the help of Peart to stop Mr Philpott seeing her.
“Whatever the truth of the relationship, in Sean Swindon’s mind he wanted it to stop and he was determined it would stop,” Graham Reeds, prosecuting, said.
Peart, who was described in court as “easily-led and highly suggestible”, hated paedophiles and so was easily recruited by Swindon to murder Mr Philpott, he added.
Teesside Crown Court heard that the defendants lay in wait outside Mr Philpott’s flat for him to return home and then when he came back they barged in.
They then subjected him to a sadistic and horrifically violent assault.
At a previous hearing Swindon, of no fixed address, and Peart, of Eamont Road, Norton, Teesside, admitted murder between March 21 and 25.
Judge Peter Fox QC jailed both men for life, recommending Swindon serve at least 20 years before being considered for parole and Peart 15 years.