A man who used a bag of Pokemon cards and a piece of wood to beat his neighbour to death in front of other residents has been jailed for life.Andrew Hague used the bag containing boxes of the cards as a makeshift weapon to attack Simon Wilkinson outside his flat in Fox Hill Road, Sheffield, on 2 August last year.He then walked away, but returned with a piece of wood and beat Mr Wilkinson around the head. Mr Wilkinson, 50, suffered catastrophic injuries and died at the scene.
Emergency services were called after several calls from members of the public reported seeing a man being severely beaten in the street.Sheffield Crown Court heard today that Hague, now 31, had got into a dispute after Mr Wilkinson accused him of being a paedophile.
Neighbours who witnessed the attack outside Mr Wilkinson's Sheffield flat heard a loud crash and then heard Hague shouting: "You called me a f****** nonce. Come out here and fight like a man."The court was told that Hague had a history of mental health issues and previous convictions for violence. He pleaded guilty to murder earlier this year.After his arrest, Hague told police that, after the initial attack, he had "felt bad" for Mr Wilkinson and returned to the scene to try to end his life.
Judge Sarah Wright said Hague believed it to be an "act of mercy" in his "deluded state".Judge Wright described the attack as "ferocious and brutal". Hague was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 17 years. The judge recommended that he be readmitted to Rampton secure hospital where he has been undergoing treatment since his arrest.The court heard that his mental illness was not severe enough for a defence of diminished responsibility or insanity.
Judge Wright said Hague had a history of contact with mental health services. He had not been taking his medication but instead had been "self-medicating" with cannabis and alcohol.The judge said the case was a "stark reminder" of the dangers of cannabis use in such circumstances. Judge Wright said the death of Mr Wilkinson had left his friends and family devastated.
Friends and family had described him as a "friendly and funny" man who had a daughter who has just turned 18. Family and friends had been caused "immense pain" and an "incalculable loss".
After the sentencing, Det Insp John Fitzgibbons, of South Yorkshire Police, said: "No sentence passed can ease the grief and pain that Mr Wilkinson’s family and friends have faced daily since he was murdered, but I hope that with the conclusion of our investigation and legal proceedings today they feel that they now have some justice for their loved one."
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