Anthony Bates Murder: Dean Swift And Gary Speight Jailed For Horrific Love Rival Torture
Two men who fatally tortured their love rival with beatings, a red-hot poker and boiling sugar "for their own sadistic pleasure" have been jailed for life.
Gary Speight will serve a minimum of 30 years for the murder of Anthony Bates, 36, who was sadistically murdered for starting a relationship with Speight's girlfriend.
His accomplice Dean Swift, 44, of no fixed address, was also found guilty of murder and will serve at least 28 years in prison.
Judge Charles Byers told the pair at the Old Bailey in London: "Anyone who listened to the evidence in this case could come to no other conclusion than that this was a brutal and callous murder.
"Committed over a long period during the course of one day, and causing the deceased Anthony Bates to die in what was described by one expert witness as exquisite pain, I'm quite satisfied that you tortured him and that you tortured him for your own sadistic pleasure."
Mr Bates was beaten, burnt with a red-hot poker and boiling sugar, and cut with a knife.
When it was suggested an ambulance should be called, Speight, 31, from Pimlico, central London, stopped it for his "own selfish reasons", the judge said.
He went on: "I'm satisfied you Gary Speight when in drink are a reckless and dangerous bully, and Dean Swift that you behaved in a depraved manner given an encouragement to torture, and that you relayed to one witness that you really enjoyed it."
Mr Bates had suffered multiple injuries when he was found in the kitchen of his flat in Fentiman Road, Vauxhall, south London, in February.
Prosecutor Brian Altman QC said a number of alcoholics, including Speight, had gone to the flat and witnessed the ordeal. One had recorded the victim's screams on his mobile phone.
The abuse included:
- Multiple beatings caused by punching, kicking and stamping.
- Weapons used to hit him resulting in broken bones and brain damage.
- Burn injuries from a poker heated on a fire and from syrup which was poured over him.
- Cutting wounds on his neck caused by a knife.
"What makes it worse is that I know Anthony would not have done anything to provoke this attack and would not have even fought back."
Mr Bates had started a relationship with a woman a few months before but learnt later that Speight, her previous boyfriend, was angered by their affair.
He returned to his father's home in Stoke-on-Trent for a few days, saying he had to leave London because people were after him, the court heard.
Mr Altman said Mr Bates told his sister that the man had been released from prison "and was threatening to kill him".
The judge told the jury that there must have been times "when you have wondered whether you would ever get over some of the things that you heard".
He excused them from doing jury service for the next 10 years.
A third defendant Corrina Lowe, 28, of no fixed address, was cleared of murder.