Evil pair guilty of torture and murder of Mark Shaw
A woman will serve at least 17 years behind bars for the murder of her new boyfriend who was tortured and killed at his home.
Mark Shaw, whose family described him as a "peacemaker", was bound, beaten, bitten, gagged, attacked with weapons and stabbed to death in a vicious attack in Grange Villa, County Durham, in December last year.
The 29-year-old dad, who died without knowing he was to become a father for the second time, suffered more than 80 separate injuries across his body in the shocking violence, that left him looking like the "elephant man".
Newcastle Crown Court heard Zoe Warren, who had been Mr Shaw's girlfriend for "just a few days", confessed to her part in the killing to a new man she was in a relationship with a few weeks later and had boasted about getting away with murder.
The 20-year-old, of Chipchase, Washington, Wearside, and Mr Shaw's neighbour Keiran Adey, 19, of Queen Street, Grange Villa, both denied murder during a trial.
Warren had admitted being at the scene when Mr Shaw, who she described as her "best friend", was murdered by Adey but claimed she played no part in the violence.
Adey told jurors he had beaten Mr Shaw but claimed it was Warren who "lost it" and murdered her new man.
Jurors found them both guilty of murder. They have both been sentenced to life behind bars with minimum tariffs of 17 years.
Warren was also convicted of intimidation over a threatening letter she sent to her next boyfriend after he became a prosecution witness.
The judge told Warren: "You claimed in evidence to have loved him. If you did, you betrayed that love."
He also told her: "You are not the victim in this, as you sought to persuade the jury to conclude.
"You believed you had got away with murder."
Justice Goss said the murder was "cruel, merciless and a sustained episode of brutality" and added: "He sustained over 80 sets of injuries from the top of his head to his feet.
"He offered no resistance.
"He undoubtedly suffered greatly in the time before his death. "
The judge said the pair had shown "no remorse" for the murder.
Mr Shaw's grieving mum read a victim impact statement during the hearing and said the tragedy has had a devastating effect on family and friends.
At the end of the statement she turned to look at her son's killers and told them: "I have never hated anyone in my life.
"I feel so much hatred towards Keiran Adey and Zoe Warren for their actions, what they did to my beloved son and the subsequent suffering me and my family suffer now and for the rest of our lives."
Prosecutor Nick Dry told the court Mr Shaw had been subjected to unimaginable violence in the attack and added: "There was evidence that he had been gripped by the jaw and a ligature applied to his neck in a manner that was life threatening.
"He had been punched and or kicked multiple times, bitten three times and struck with a rod shaped weapon up to six times.
"The evidence showed he had been forcibly restrained and possibly injected intravenously against his will.
"In addition, he had been stabbed twice in the back, one of those wounds being deeply penetrating and bringing about death as a result of blood loss."
Mr Dry told the court Warren had been living at Mr Shaw's house at the time of his death and had previously known him through a common association with the Washington area.
Adey was a neighbour, with whom there had been some previous trouble.
The court heard items used during the course of the killing, including a knife were taken to a wooded area near Mr Shaw's home and buried or burned.
Mr Dry said the killers carried out an initial attack on Mr Shaw before leaving the house and returning to inflict "further, more serious violence" in the early hours of December 17.
Mr Dry said during one conversation after the killing, Adey told an acquaintance he and Warren had inflicted violence and added: "We've done what we've done and left him looking like the elephant man".
It is claimed Warren told another woman the violence flared because Mark had "spent her last ten pounds on heroin" and he had "grassed" on Keiran about a broken window.
Chief Superintendent Adrian Green, from Durham Constabulary, said: “I am pleased that the investigation into the death of Mark Shaw has culminated in the successful convictions of Kieran Adey and Zoe Warren.
“This was a vicious and prolonged attack and there is no doubt that Mark suffered at the hands of his killers. I hope that these convictions will offer his family some comfort that justice has been served.”