Man punched and kicked to death by drinking buddies

Victim John Dawson, from Worsbrough Common
Victim John Dawson, from Worsbrough Common
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A MIDDLE-AGED man met a violent death at the hands of two drinking pals in his South Yorkshire home, a court heard.

John Dawson, aged 57, was repeatedly punched, kicked and had his head stamped on. He also suffered knife wounds to his head and hands.

Police at the house on Highstone Avenue, Worsbrough Common, Barnsley

Police at the house on Highstone Avenue, Worsbrough Common, Barnsley

He suffered 50 separate injuries and 15 deep bruises to his body - which was found wrapped in a pink blanket in his blood-spattered lounge.

Mr Dawson had died from severe head injuries by the time paramedics arrived, Sheffield Crown Court.

His friends Adrian Beevers, 41, and Gary Evans, 43, are jointly charged with his murder, which they deny.

Both defendants initially lied to police, saying they were elsewhere at the time of the killing. They now accept they were at the house - although each blames the other for the murder.

But Peter Moulson QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “Both defendants played their part in the attack on Mr Dawson intending to kill him.”

The court heard Mr Dawson probably died at breakfast time on Monday, February 21, this year, after being attacked in his home at Highstone Avenue, Worsbrough Common, Barnsley.

Both defendants had lived with the victim at different times before his death.

A forensic scientist discovered the punches, kicks and stamps were delivered with ‘considerable force’ and caused brain damage.

Mr Dawson tried to defend himself and suffered wounds to his hands as he tried in vain to stop the attack.

Both defendants were seen near Mr Dawson’s house on the morning he died and were arrested in the evening.

Evans, of Cope Street, Worsbrough Common, told police: “I wasn’t there”. He later admitted he had lied and was at the scene.

Mr Moulson said: “He said he saw it all and Beevers killed him and he had nothing to do with it. He said he was frightened of Beevers and that was why he lied.”

Beevers, of Dillington Road, Worsbrough Common, at first said he had never left his girlfriend’s home and had not been anywhere near Mr Dawson’s house.

But when CCTV images proved he had lied he was charged with murder.

Beevers told police: “I had no involvement or anything to do with the killing of John Dawson.”

He later changed his story and said he was at Mr Dawson’s house when Evans began arguing with the victim.

“Beevers said Evans picked up a knife and slashed at Mr Dawson and Mr Dawson lashed out at Beevers so he hit him in the face to protect himself,” Mr Moulson told the court.

“He said Evans killed Mr Dawson and threw a blanket over him.”

Mobile phone records showed Beevers texting his girlfriend trying to get a lift and Evans’ SIM card being used in the victim’s phone after it is alleged Mr Dawson was killed.

“Mr Dawson was dead and the two defendants had caused him to die,” said Mr Moulson. “They wished to make their escape from the scene.”

The two men eventually left on foot and were captured on CCTV carrying some bags thought to contain clothes.

Forensic scientists later found blood belonging to Mr Dawson on the defendants’ clothing and shoes.

Both men claimed the blood had come from when they picked up the victim after he had a drink-related fall days before his body was found.

The trial continues.