'Michael can now be laid to rest' - sister speaks of relief after brother's 'evil murderers' jailed
The 36-year-old suffered critical head injuries after he was attacked in the early hours of January 13.
His attackers then dragged him into Victor Street, Chester-le-Street, leaving him for dead when he fled the scene.
He was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for treatment, but sadly died 11 days later.
Paul Watson, 30, of The Crescent, Chester-le-Street, and Christopher Hills, 31, of Gregory Terrace, Houghton, were both given life sentences today after being found guilty at Newcastle Crown Court. They had denied murder.
Michael leaves behind his sister Joanne Price, brother Andrew Price, and mother Jacqueline Price.
Speaking on behalf of his family, Joanne said: “This was a liberty - they took advantage of Michael while he lay defenceless on the floor and couldn’t defend himself.
“We are really pleased with the result and are overjoyed that the jury saw through these two evil murderers. Michael can now be laid to rest once and for all.”
Hills must serve a minimum of 22 years before he is considered for release, while Watson must serve 17.
Sentencing them, Judge David Hatton described the attack as a “vicious and brutal killing”.
Detective Chief Superintendent Adrian Green, who led the investigation, said: “This was a difficult investigation given the fact that there were no independent witnesses and I am pleased that the jury have convicted both men.
“Watson and Hills are both extremely violent men who present a danger to the public.
“Today's conviction will go some way to bringing closure to the family and will keep the public safe for the future.”