‘Cowards’ – judge jails brothers for life for murder of Sunderland dad George Dagg

Jack and Jess Ryan
Jack and Jess Ryan
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A JUDGE jailed the two brothers for life after the “cowardly” murder of a much-loved dad.

Jess Ryan, 25, and his brother Jack Ryan, 22, stabbed George “Geordie” Dagg to death in a bloody revenge attack outside his Sunderland home in June.

The fatal knife blow was delivered when the father-of-two had turned his back and had told his attackers they could “sort it out tomorrow”.

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The deadly duo, who had both recently been released from jail and have dozens of convictions between them, had gone to Mr Dagg’s home armed with knives after an earlier row at the house between him and Jess Ryan.

Ryan repeatedly went back to the house, issuing threats and took his younger brother with him for the final, fatal confrontation.

The siblings had been heard saying “lets do him in”, “stick it in him” and “stab him”, before the deadly wound was caused, which severed a main artery in 53-year-old Mr Dagg’s leg.

Mr Dagg died in hospital as a result of the injury.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday both brothers were given life sentences after being convicted of murder after a trial which ended last week.

Judge Paul Sloan, QC, said Jess Ryan must serve 25 years before he can apply for parole and his brother must serve 21 years.

The judge said: “You each took a knife to the scene, you each knew the other was armed with a knife.

“You were intending Mr Dagg would be attacked with a knife and one of those knives was used in committing the murder.

“You well knew Mr Dagg was unarmed, he had nothing in his hand during the critical moments.

“You saw an opportunity as he turned towards his house, so his back was to you, and you lunged at him in a cowardly attack, from behind, swinging the knife you were holding with moderate force, into the top of his leg.

“The knife went in to a depth of five inches.”

The court heard after Jess Ryan inflicted the fatal blow, the brothers fled the scene and disposed of the knives they had been armed with.

Judge Sloan added: “As a result of the stab wound, major vessels in Mr Dagg’s leg were severed, leading to massive haemorrhage and death.”

Throughout the trial, the public gallery of the courtroom was packed with grieving members of Mr Dagg’s family and his friends.

Judge Sloan paid tribute to the dignity they had shown throughout the proceedings, where the last moments of their father’s life were relived in public. The judge said the effect of his death on Mr Dagg’s family had been “devastating”.

He added: “No sentence I can pass could ever ease their pain.”

Judge Sloan said the brothers were acting as a “team” when they carried out the killing. but said he accepted they intended to cause really serious harm rather than murder that night.

Jess Ryan, of Toronto Road, Sunderland and Jack Ryan, of nearby Toronto Square, had denied murder throughout the trial.

MORE ON THIS STORY:

• Sunderland brothers face life for murder of popular dad George Dagg

• Murder jury shown CCTV of stab attack on Sunderland dad George Dagg

• Neighbours heard threats by man accused of George Dagg’s murder