Killers caged for ‘merciless’ attack

Adrian Beevers, who murdered 57-year-old John Dawson.
Adrian Beevers, who murdered 57-year-old John Dawson.
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TWO killers who ‘systematically, persistently and mercilessly’ beat a dad to death in his own home have been locked up for committing the fatal attack.

Adrian Beevers, aged 42, and Gary Evans, 43, killed 57-year-old John Dawson in the living room at his house on Highstone Avenue, Worsbrough, Barnsley.

Mr Dawson suffered more than 50 injuries in the ‘sustained and exceptionally violent’ attack, during which he was knifed, kicked and stamped on by the two thugs.

Sheffield Crown Court heard his ordeal could have lasted for as long as an hour, and he was unable to defend himself as he was ‘heavily intoxicated’ at the time.

Jurors unanimously convicted Beevers of murder, and Evans of manslaughter.

Beevers, of Mill Court, Worsbrough, was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years, while Evans, of Cope Street, also Worsbrough, was locked up for 10 years.

In a statement, John’s daughters Claire Dawson, 37, and Amanda Sheard, 38, said their father’s murder had turned their family ‘upside down’.

“Beevers and Evans’ convictions don’t bring our dad back, but it does give us some comfort that people will know them for what they really are – killers,” they said.

“Adrian Beevers is a vicious, violent man who showed no mercy.”

Mr Dawson had allowed his killers to stay in his home at different times, they added.

“Our dad was their friend. He gave them a roof over their heads and this is how they repay him. We hope while they are in prison they reflect on that and feel ashamed.

“They have robbed us of a son, dad and granddad. He didn’t deserve to die in this way and his murder has turned all our lives upside down.”

Sentencing Judge Roger Keen QC said Mr Dawson had done nothing to justify the attack.

“A knife was first used by one of you, causing minor cuts before it was discarded in favour of fists and feet.

“Thereafter, over at least 50 minutes, you both systematically, persistently and mercilessly beat him. He was in no position to defend himself because he was seated or slumped on the settee during most of his ordeal, as well as heavily intoxicated throughout.”

Judge Keen said Mr Dawson was moved to the floor, where he lay helpless as kicks and stamps were delivered to his upper body, face and head.

Murderer Beevers finished the horrific assault by stamping on Mr Dawson’s head, he added.

“In a derisory gesture towards your victim, you delivered at least one vicious, callous and forceful stamp to his unprotected head.”

The pair stayed in the house for around 50 minutes, making no attempt to help their dying victim.

The judge said they showed a lack of remorse by lying to police after their arrest and throughout the trial. He told Evans: “You played a substantial part, but were so intoxicated that you lacked murderous intent or foresight.”