Three teenagers, brothers Connor and Brandon Doran and friend Simon Evans, are jailed for murdering a homeless man as a dare.
Brothers Connor, 17, and Brandon, 14, and Evans, also 14, attacked 53-year-old homeless man Kevin Bennett while he was sleeping rough outside a supermarket in Liverpool.
During their trial, a jury heard that the elder Doran had goaded Evans by saying: “I bet you haven’t got it in you to do him in.” Evans later told his friend: “I started kicking him, I booted him and now he’s dead.” Brandon Doran stood as lookout during the attack.
The three boys, who all denied murder, were found guilty on 26 February following a four-week trial.
The judge described the case as a “desperately sad reflection on society.”
Passing sentence today, Judge Clement Goldstone QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, said: “I think it is a desperately sad reflection on this society that each of you was party to serious violence purely for the sake of it.”
Not that many mothers would have shown themselves to be either so unwilling or unable to shoulder the responsibility of motherhood as you have. Judge Clement Goldstone QC
Connor Doran, the “leader of the pack”, was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years in prison, Evans was sentenced to a minimum of eight years, and Brandon Doran received a six-year sentence.
The Doran brothers’ mother, Linda, 42, was also jailed for 30 months after being convicted of perverting the course of justice by providing false alibis for her sons.
Her eldest son, Ryan, 23, was convicted of murder and jailed for life last October after he attacked a stranger with a bottle in a takeaway.
The judge told the Mrs Doran: “You have another son who is serving life for murder. There are not many parents who have that sort of personal agony to bear.
Mr Bennett had done nothing to deserve such violence. Alan Conrad QC
“But then again not that many mothers would have shown themselves to be either so unwilling or unable to shoulder the responsibility of motherhood as you have.”
Bennett died in hospital six days after the beating in the early hours of 17 August 17 last year. He was described to the court as “vulnerable” and “a heavy drinker”.
He suffered a fractured eye socket, a collapsed lung and a broken ribcage which detached from his chest. He died in hospital from blood poisoning after an infection set in, causing his organs to fail, a post-mortem examination found.
Prosecutor Alan Conrad QC, said: “Mr Bennett had done nothing to deserve such violence. Those who attacked him were much younger and more agile than he was – very young indeed.”
Mr Bennett had been in the pub from 11am on 16 August, and had drunk up to a dozen cans of lager. He left after midnight and settled down for the night behind an Iceland store.
It was there he was discovered by Iceland staff arriving for work at 7am the next day.