Two men convicted of killing dad

Two men have been convicted of killing John "Jonty" Hall, who was battered with a baseball bat at a house in County Durham.

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CCTV shows killer driving John Hall's body away in unlocked car boot

Two men have been jailed for killing a father-of-two during a drinking session at a house in County Durham.

John Hall was with friends when he was attacked for reasons which have never been clearly established.

This CCTV footage shows one of his killers, Nicholas Rought driving a car with the body in the unlocked boot.

Today Rought was given a life sentence for murder and told he would serve at least 19 years.

He attacked Mr Hall with a baseball bat at his home in Shiney Row last September, before dumping the body in a ditch in West Rainton.

A second man, Stuart Smith, of no fixed address, has been jailed for 15 years for manslaughter.

Daughter pays tribute to father as killers are jailed

John Hall was killed last September.

A grieving daughter has paid tribute to her father on the day his killers were put behind bars.

Bethany Hall had launched a desperate search for her dad John, known as Jonty, when he disappeared on a Saturday night last September.

She visited the house in Shiney Row where Mr Hall, 46, was killed and was told by his murderer Nicholas Rought that her dad must be around somewhere.

All the while, Rought and killer Stuart Smith knew John Hall was lying dead in a ditch.

Mr Hall's body was found hidden in undergrowth by a dog walker, the day after his death.

Rought, 45, of Princess Street, Shiney Row, was sentenced to life in prison at Newcastle Crown Court and told he must serve a minimum of 19 years before he can even apply for parole.

Smith, 42, of no fixed address, was given a 15 year sentence for manslaughter.

Bethany Hall: "The man we knew and loved was a family man." Credit: Northumbria Police

Speaking after the hearing, Bethany said: "No sentence could ever reflect the pain and heartache we feel as a family.

"What we have lost is irreplaceable and we must live with our loss every day.

"A lot has been written in the media and social media about our father.

"The man that we knew and loved was a family man who loved nature and the outdoors and would go out of his way to help anyone he could.

"Nothing can justify what happened to our dad. He will be sadly missed by all those who loved him and whom he loved."

John Hall died of multiple severe injuries which left his face "flat and without structure."


Two men convicted of horrific killing

John Hall Credit: Northumbria Police

Two men have been convicted of killing John "Jonty" Hall at a house in County Durham.

Mr Hall was beaten to death last September.

His battered body was then dumped in a ditch.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 46 year old had sustained such severe injuries that his face was left “flat and without structure”.The dad of two also had his throat cut, was stabbed with a fork and had multiple wounds inflicted to his body, hands, penis and testicles.

Nicholas Rought, 45, of Princess Street, Shiney Row, denied he played any part in the killing. He was convicted of murder after five hours deliberation by a jury.

Stuart Smith, 42, of no fixed address, also denied murder during a two week trial at Newcastle Crown Court.Jurors found him guilty of manslaughter. He was cleared of the murder charge.

Both men will be sentenced tomorrow.

Mystery still surrounds exactly what happened in the dining room where the 46-year-old dad was killed while surrounded by friends.Jurors were told various versions of events by witnesses who were there during the murder.

Paul Tate, of Cambridge Road, Silksworth, was also charged with Mr Hall’s murder but committed suicide while on remand in Holme House Prison, Stockton, on September 27.

Man convicted of murder

John Hall

A man who beat up his childhood friend with a baseball bat has been found guilty of murder.

Nicholas Rought, 45, of Princess Street, Shiney Row, has been convicted of the murder of 46-year-old John Hall at a house in Shiney Row.

His body was found in a country lane at West Rainton near to Durham City,

Another defendant, Stuart Smith, 42, of no fixed abode, originally from Shotley Bridge, was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter at Newcastle Crown Court.

They will be sentenced on Wednesday.

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