A VULNERABLE man died after suffering 41 separate injuries in a ‘brutal and sustained assault’ at the hands of a violent killer – who will spend at least 16 years behind bars.
Shane Beadling, aged 41, was beaten, slashed with a knife, kicked and stamped on by 32-year-old Garry Count as he crouched defenceless on the floor at the murderer’s home on Bartholomew Street, Wombwell, Barnsley.
Sheffield Crown Court heard the lodger was ‘treated like a skivvy’ and forced to run errands by Count and his partner, Kerry Musgrave – and was set upon after failing to buy £20 worth of tobacco for his killer.
Following the murder in July, Count left Mr Beadling to die and tried to cover his tracks with help from Musgrave – washing clothes and dumping the knife down a drain.
Sentencing yesterday, Judge Alan Goldsack QC said the victim had a drink problem and Count ‘knew perfectly well’ that he was vulnerable.
Judge Goldsack told Count: “You became angry and effectively told neighbours of your intention to assault him by telling them they would need to call an ambulance.
“You then went into the house where he was probably watching TV, and there followed a sustained and merciless beating.
“There was repeated punching, kicking, stamping to the head and body, and at some stage you armed yourself with a knife and slashed him across the face.”
Mr Beadling died from multiple injuries including severe brain damage, a post-mortem examination found.
The judge said the pair ‘did everything they could to avoid responsibility’.
Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said Mr Beadling was well-known at Bartholomew Street, despite also having a flat in Rawmarsh.
Mr Sharp said: “It seems he caused no problems, being instead an amiable person who, although a regular drunk, sometimes did odd jobs for neighbours.”
Mr Sharp told the court that Mr Beadling once told a neighbour Count had ‘smacked’ him.
Neighbours also heard ‘somebody being chucked around’ after 7.45pm on the night of the murder, he said.
Afterwards Count went to his brother’s house, but later gave himself up to police and was arrested.
He made ‘limited admissions’ in interview, Mr Sharp said.
Peter Pimm, mitigating, said Count – who had previous convictions for possessing a gun and a samurai sword – suffered from mental health problems and was experiencing a ‘disturbed state of mind’.
Count admitted murder, perverting the course of justice and affray and was sentenced to life in jail, to serve a minimum of 16 years. Musgrave admitted perverting the course of justice and was jailed for 18 months.