James 'Jimmy' ProutImage copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Jimmy Prout suffered months of “Dark Ages” style-torture that included knocking out his teeth

Two people have been found guilty of murdering a vulnerable man who was tortured for months and forced to eat his own testicle.

Jimmy Prout, 45, was found dead on wasteland near his home in North Shields on 27 March 2016.

A jury heard he was tortured by a group he thought of as friends who subjected him to months of abuse.

Ann Corbett, 26, and Zahid Zaman, 43, both from Percy Main, were found guilty of murder at Newcastle Crown Court.

‘Rot in hell’

Myra Wood, 45, and Kay Rayworth, 56, of Stephen’s Way, North Shields, were cleared of murder but convicted of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.

After the verdicts, Mr Prout’s brother Eddie Prout said: “The things they’ve done to my brother you wouldn’t have even seen in the worst horror films or your worst nightmare.

“There’s not a word horrible enough to describe the people who did that to my brother.

“I hope they rot in hell. I don’t want them to die, I just want them to suffer the way we are, suffer every single day and have nightmares like I do.”

Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Zahid Zaman and Ann Corbett, above, were found guilty of murder. Myra Wood, left and Kay Rayworth, below, were convicted of allowing Mr Prout’s death

During the seven-week trial, the court heard Mr Prout died on 9 February 2016, and his decaying body had been partly eaten by animals on the wasteland.

All four defendants, who previously pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, will be sentenced on 27 June.

The court was told the group of five, including Mr Prout, had a strange relationship which had developed an almost “cultish dimension”.

They heard that a series of events in late 2015 created tensions that led to a number of serious assaults against Mr Prout, which included him having his teeth knocked out with a hammer and chisel.

Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, said: “In effect, over a period of time, Jimmy Prout was not just mistreated, he was tortured.

“In the end, this conduct was to cause the death of Jimmy Prout.”

After Mr Prout’s body had been dumped, the court was told the group then set about covering their tracks by pretending to look for him and asking others to help.

Zaman, who uses a wheelchair and was the leader of the group, was described as vengeful and controlling and was determined to get his own back after he thought Mr Prout had been involved in stealing from him.

The jury was shown CCTV images, often taken from cameras Zaman had on his house, of the worsening condition of Mr Prout as the assaults continued, some of which showed him clearly unsteady on his feet and being pushed along the street.

Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Images of Mr Prout’s injuries appeared on his own Facebook account

Images of Mr Prout’s injuries also appeared on his own Facebook account at the time, with words such as “My bodie hurt” and “My sholder hurts”.

After the verdict Det Ch Insp Andy Fairlamb, of Northumbria Police, said it was “hard to imagine” that such assaults could still take place.

He said: “What they have done is appalling, abhorrent. In all my years of investigating homicides I have never seen levels of abuse of this nature before.

“Prior to his death, Jimmy was subjected to a number of serious assaults of a vile, degrading nature, which resulted in his health, both physical and emotional, deteriorating in the last weeks of his life, and to his death.”

All four are due to be sentenced on 27 June.

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