A gang of robbers who tortured a grandad to death so they could steal at least £10,000 of his life savings have been jailed.
Two men were found guilty of murdering Tony Fisher while another two were cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.
Mr Fisher, 58, was beaten and stabbed at his home in Carlton, Nottinghamshire, on 8 January 2016.
His wife Elaine and son Andrew found his body the morning after.
‘Fear and pain’
“It was immediately apparent on seeing the lifeless body of my husband that Tony had suffered a violent death,” said his wife.
“It was all your worst nightmares and an image that can never leave my mind.
“To know his last moments on this earth were filled with fear and pain has been something all of Tony’s family have struggled to both comprehend and cope with.”
Mr Fisher co-operated with the robbers by telling them where two safes were, but they still continued attacking him.
They fled with between £10,000 and £14,000 in cash and other valuable items including jewellery, leaving Mr Fisher to bleed to death.
In a statement issued through police, Mr Fisher’s family stressed that he did not know the men who killed him, and he was targeted because they “got wind” that he kept his life savings in the house.
Mr Fisher spent 27 years working as a maintenance worker at Duncan Macmillan House, a mental health treatment centre in Nottingham where his colleagues have placed a plaque in his memory.
- Simon Palmer, 43, of Daybrook, was sentenced to life in prison and ordered to serve a minimum of 33 years for murder and conspiracy to rob
- Marcus Barton, 42, of Bestwood, was given a life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years for murder and conspiracy to rob
- Nathan Barton, 23, of Basford, was jailed for 19 years for manslaughter and 14 years concurrently for conspiracy to rob
- Jaydon Roberts-Barton, 21, of St Ann’s, was sentenced to 18 years for manslaughter and 13 years concurrently for conspiracy to rob
- Vincent Hawkins, 33, of Sneinton, was jailed for five years for perverting course of justice, after helping them try to cover up their crime
It was estimated Mr Fisher was subjected to the assault for 15 to 20 minutes.
Addressing Palmer at Nottingham Crown Court, Mr Justice Jay called him the “ringleader of this enterprise”.
“You are the sort of man who does not hesitate to use extreme measures to compel others to act against their will,” he said.
He said Mr Fisher was overpowered, physically restrained, then attacked with his own kitchen knife.
“I am sure that the man with the knife was you, Simon Palmer,” the judge said.
As he was being taken away by dock officers, Palmer shouted “I didn’t do it”, and was later heard to shout “I’m an innocent man.”
The judge called Marcus Barton a “career criminal” and said he was responsible for recruiting his son, Jaydon Roberts-Barton, and his distant cousin, Nathan Barton.
Mr Justice Jay said Marcus Barton had shown no remorse, and the decision to recruit his son was “both perplexing and sad”.