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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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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."

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