Man murdered two men in four hours in Manchester

Image caption, Stephen Mack must serve a minimum term of 27 years

A man who murdered two men in separate attacks in Greater Manchester in the space of four hours has been jailed for life.

Stephen Mack pleaded guilty to two counts of murder at an earlier hearing at Manchester Crown Court.

He battered his victims to death on 19 January in "prolonged and sustained" attacks, police said.

The 33-year-old, of no fixed address, must serve a minimum of 27 years before he is eligible for parole.

He attacked his first victim, Stephen Downes, 45, in an argument over food that had been stolen from a fridge at a flat they were in.

He kicked him in the chest, stabbed him in the head with pliers and snapped a broom over his back, police said.

Mack fled the flat through an open window.

The attack was not reported to the police, a spokesman said.

Mr Downes was found dead at his home in Buckhurst Road, Levenshulme, on 4 February.

Mack attacked his second victim - Paul Hamnett - after kicking in the door to his flat in Gransmoor Avenue, Openshaw.

He stamped on the 58-year-old's body, head and arms, police said.

Det Ch Insp Ian Fields, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "Stephen Mack was a violent individual and a bully.

"He preyed on vulnerable people in our community believing they were too scared to inform the authorities.

"Mack was wrong.

"Today's result is a testament to the people that stood up to Mack."

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