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Father Beaten So Badly He Was Unrecognisable
A couple, who beat a father-of-three so badly police could not identify whether the dead body was that of a man or woman, have been jailed for life.
The pair inflicted 59 separate injuries on the 53-year-old at his flat in Essex after he invited them round for wine and a steak dinner.
The details of his injuries and the torture to which he was subjected were so horrific they caused a male dock officer at the Old Bailey to faint as the case was outlined to the court.
Mr Justice Saunders said: "It is almost unthinkable that any human being could treat another in the way these defendants treated Roy Sly."
Vincent Harty, 39, and his girlfriend Lisa Marie Turner, 33, killed Mr Sly, who lived apart from his wife and children because of his history of heavy drinking, because Harty thought he had reported his violence towards Turner to the police.
As Mr Sly lay dying in his one-bedroom flat in Westcliff-on-Sea the couple went and drained his bank account of £105.
William Clegg QC, prosecuting, said: "They beat and tortured that poor man until he died in what must have been agony.
"This was a lengthy killing involving considerable violence and sadistic torture.
"His face was so badly beaten that police could not tell whether the corpse they were looking at was that of a man or woman."
After he died, one of the defendants stuck a hypodermic needle in Mr Sly's arm to make it appear that he died from a drugs overdose.
Turner, who was expecting Harty's child at the time of the killing, initially denied the murder but later pleaded guilty and gave evidence against him.
Harty, 39, was found guilty of murder and given a minimum term of 30 years. Turner, 33, was given a minimum term of 20 years at the Old Bailey.
The court was told that the pair did not have normal inhibitions because of damage done by years of drink and drug abuse.