Leicester

Two jailed for 'brutal' killing of man with learning difficulties

Brendan Mason Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Brendan Mason's family said he was a "lovely young man" and "so happy"

Two men who used their phones to film themselves brutally attacking a man with learning difficulties have been jailed for his murder.

Keith Lowe and Joshua Hack lured Brendan Mason to Abbey Park in Leicester where they beat him, stripped him naked to get rid of evidence, then left him for dead.

Mr Mason, 23, died in hospital after suffering 99 injuries.

Lowe, 22, and Hack, 21, were given life sentences at Leicester Crown Court.

Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Joshua Hack admitted murder, while Keith Lowe changed his plea to guilty after video evidence emerged during his trial
Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption The men went to McDonald's after attacking Brendan Mason and leaving him for dead

Lowe will serve a minimum of 21 years and Hack will serve a minimum of 20 years and six months.

Hack admitted murder while Lowe changed his plea to guilty after video evidence emerged during his trial of him landing blows on Mr Mason.

Prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said the defendants filmed the attack for a third party to view and footage shows Mr Mason's naked and bloodied body on the ground.

'Two evil people'

Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Mason's aunt Sarah Chambers said: "It is not right how two evil people can do such a horrific thing and leave a massive hole in our lives that will never be filled again.

"Brendan was a lovely young man and he was so happy.

"Even though Brendan had numerous learning difficulties and was very easily led by others, he always knew right from wrong."

Image caption Mr Mason's aunt Sarah Chambers said the family feel they are "never going to get closure"
Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Brendan Mason was found naked with 99 injuries the morning after the attack

The court heard Lowe, of Rockingham Close, Leicester, and Hack, of St Helen's Drive, Leicester, had been friends of Mr Mason and planned to assault him.

Judge Michael Chambers QC said the attack on 5 July "was an intention to cause extremely severe violence and injury".

'Chilling' video evidence

"You [Lowe and Hack] subjected him [Mr Mason] to a brutal and sustained attack in which you caused him great pain and humiliation," he said.

"Brendan Mason was only 23 with his life before him. You subjected him to a merciless attack with extreme violence."

Judge Chambers described the footage, which was not shown in court, as "chilling and deeply disturbing".

Image caption Mr Mason was found at Abbey Park with 32 head and neck injuries and 67 others over his body

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