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  1. ITV Report

Leon Port jailed for murdering his stepfather in 'brutal and horrific' attack

A son who murdered his stepfather in a "brutal and horrific" attack has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years at Cardiff Crown Court.

Leon Port Credit: South Wales Police

Mr Hopes, 45, was also smashed over the head with a heavy vase spattering blood over the furniture and walls of his home.

The callous pair then left Mr Hopes dying for hours before an ambulance was called to the house in Trealaw, Rhondda, South Wales.

Port was jailed for life and ordered to serve at least 18 years while his mother, convicted of murder after a re-trial, will be sentenced next month.

During their trials the pair had tried to blame the other for the death of Mr Hopes.

But Mr Justice Picken told Port: "You and your mother's culpability was equal and I consider it likely that both of you took part in the attack.

Mr Hopes met an untimely and vicious death, taken away in brutal fashion. He was kicked and punched and a vase smashed on his head in a ferocious way.

He was subjected to horrific violence and died over a period of hours, suffering considerably from his injuries and you did nothing to lessen his suffering.

You and your mother cleaned up to cover up what happened and then lied to the police.

– Mr Justice Picken

During his trial the court heard Port had spent the day with his stepfather and was drinking on the sofa with him at Mr Hopes' home last October.

Later in the afternoon an argument broke out between the two and Port said Mr Hopes asked him to shake his hand and "squeezed it as hard as he could" while standing over him.

Cardiff Crown Court Credit: PA

He told the court Mr Hopes pinned him to the wall and started to punch the wall next to his head and stamped on his foot and he retaliated.. But Mr Justice Picken said the jury had rejected his claim of self defence.

Port and his partner Rebecca Donovan, 24, both of Mountain Ash, near Aberdare, were also sentenced for perverting the course of justice.

Donovan, who was said to be scared of him and had given him a false alibi, was handed a 16-month suspended sentence.

Mr Hopes' friends and family, wearing red T shirts with his name Mark emblazoned on them, were in court to see justice done

He had a heart of gold and loved his children and grandchildren.

He was funny, playful and made us laugh and we are all devastated.

– Yvonne Smith, sister of Mark Hopes

Maria Hopes will be sentenced next month.