An evil duo who befriended a vulnerable man before torturing him in his own home for two hours have been jailed for 25 years each.
Paul Lyons, 47, and Toni Ackerman, 35, both of Elm Green Lane, Conisbrough, carried out the appalling attack on the 55-year-old man in which they beat, stabbed and burnt him with an iron at his property in Thurcroft.
Witnesses later saw the pair making their way back to Rotherham ‘covered in blood and carrying the man’s television’.
The pair were found guilty of attempted murder and robbery following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court and sentenced to 25 years’ in jail each.
Police were called to house in Katherine Road, Thurcroft at about 9.45pm on Tuesday 27 October after a friend of the victim found him locked inside the house, covered in blood.
Detective Constable Janelle Dexter-Lowe, the investigating officer, said: “This was a vicious, targeted attack on a vulnerable and defenceless man carried out by two evil individuals.
“The man used a wheelchair to get around the local area and Lyons and Ackerman took advantage of him, even befriending him prior to the attack.
“The man was effectively tortured in his own home for up to two hours, during which time he was punched, stamped on, stabbed and burnt with an iron.
“He was also dragged around the house while Lyons and Ackerman ransacked his home, looking for valuables before locking him in. They stole his television before disconnecting his phone and taking his house key, making sure he had no way of calling for help.
“I would like to praise the victim in his bravery in giving evidence at the trial and would like to thank members of the public for their help following an appeal for information.
“Several members of the public came forward following the appeal and as a result of their information we were able to identify Lyons and Ackerman who many of the witnesses saw making their way back to Rotherham, covered in blood and carrying the man’s television.
“Thankfully, attacks like this are rare and the victim is now recovering from the despicable ordeal Lyons and Ackerman put him through.
“I hope that today’s sentence will give him some comfort and contribute to his recovery.”