UK

Teenagers Who Beat Homeless Man, Kevin Bennett, To Death Sentenced For His Murder

15/04/2013 14:22 BST | Updated 15/04/2013 15:52 BST

Three boys who beat a homeless man to death for a dare have been sentenced for murder.

Brothers Connor Doran, 17, and Brandon Doran, 14, and their friend Simon Evans, also 14, attacked Kevin Bennett, 53, as he slept rough outside a supermarket in Liverpool.

During their trial at Liverpool Crown Court, the jury was told that Connor had goaded Evans by saying: "I bet you haven't got it in you to do him in."

kevin bennett murder

Kevin Bennett died of the injuries sustained in the attack

Evans later told his friend: "I started kicking him, I booted him and now he's dead," the court heard.

Brandon Doran stood look-out as the attack took place, the prosecution said.

The three boys, who all denied murder, were found guilty on 26 February following a four-week trial.

connor doran

Connor Doran

Passing sentence on Monday, 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."

Connor Doran, labelled the "leader of the pack" by the Recorder, was sentenced to a minimum 12 years, Evans was ordered to serve at least eight years and Brandon Doran received six years for acting as look-out during the attack.

The Doran brothers' mother, Linda Doran, 42, was jailed for 30 months after being convicted by the trial jury of perverting the course of public justice by providing false alibis for her sons.

brandon doran

Brandon Doran

Her eldest son, Ryan, 23, was convicted of murder and jailed for life last October after he attacked a complete stranger with a bottle in a takeaway.

The judge told the mother: "You have another son who is serving life for murder. There are not many parents who have that sort of personal agony to bear.

"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."

simon evans

Simon Evans

During her own trial, Linda's second son, Jordan, 21, was held in contempt of court by Recorder Goldstone after being caught using a mobile phone to take photographs in the courtroom.

Mr Bennett died in hospital six days after the beating in August last year.

The victim, described as "vulnerable" and a "heavy drinker" by the prosecution, 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.

linda doran

Linda Doran

The three boys were responsible for a "group attack", prosecutor Alan Conrad QC, told the jury.

Mr Conrad 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 consumed between 10 and 12 cans of lager.

He left just after midnight with a white carrier bag laden with more cans of beer and settled down for the night behind an Iceland store on nearby County Road, Walton.

It was there he was discovered beaten by Iceland staff arriving for work at 7am the next day.