Four men have been sentenced to a total of more than 85 years for killing John Hutchinson in a revenge attack.
Police were called to reports of an aggravated burglary at Scorton Avenue, Blackpool, at 6.50pm on April 10, 2023.
A group of men carrying a hammer, metal bar and wooden pole had entered a flat and assaulted 44-year-old John Hutchinson before fleeing the scene.
At around 9.10pm that day, an ambulance took Mr Hutchinson to Blackpool Victoria Hospital having suffered a suspected cardiac arrest, but he passed away.
A post-mortem examination revealed he died from a ruptured spleen which had caused fatal internal bleeding. The bleeding had been caused by a hammer blow which had struck with considerable force and had fractured a rib and perforated the spleen.
The assault on Mr Hutchinson was a revenge attack after he and another man stole a large quantity of drugs earlier the same day from the home address of a man called Daniel Cunningham.
After an investigation by the Force Major Investigation Team four men were arrested and charged. A jury at Preston Crown Court unanimously convicted them today.
Daniel Cunningham (34) Tarnbrook Drive, Blackpool (main image) was found guilty of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 18 years for this offence and six years concurrent and two years consecutive for drug offences.
Lee Clarke (pictured left) (33) of Greenall Court, Prescot, Merseyside was found guilty of murder. He was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 27 years. He was also given a nine-year concurrent sentence for drug offences.
David Bond (34) of Oaklands Avenue, Liverpool was found guilty of murder. He was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 24 years. He was also jailed for six months concurrent for drug offences.
Darren McCabe (47) of Warwick Road, Blackpool was convicted of manslaughter. He was jailed for 16 years.
Detective chief inspector Andy Fallows said: “First and foremost my thoughts today are with John Hutchinson’s family and friends who lost a loved one in brutal circumstances.
“I welcome these sentences and I hope that they provide some sense that justice has been served.”