Shane Tunney murder: Gang jailed for iron bar street attack

Shane Tunney Image copyright Tunney family photo
Image caption Shane Tunney suffered severe head injuries and was left in a coma before he died in hospital five weeks later

A gang convicted of a savage street killing which saw a man "kicked like a football" as he went to buy pizza, has been jailed.

Shane Tunney, 24, died after being attacked on Norton High Street in Stockton, County Durham, last June.

At Teesside Crown Court, Kearan Terry Davis and Kieran Harry Davis, both 18, were jailed for life for murder.

Five others convicted of manslaughter were jailed but Mr Tunney's father said he was disappointed at the sentences.

Kearan Terry Davis must serve a minimum of 15 years, while his cousin Kieran Harry Davis must remain in prison for at least 13 years before being eligible for parole.

The trial heard Mr Tunney had been at a cash machine with his friend Anthony Kirk when they were pelted with waste food by a group on the roof of an adjoining Tesco store.

Shortly after that, they were confronted and attacked.

Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption Cousins Kearan Terry Davis, left, and Kieran Harry Davis were found guilty of killing Shane Tunney

One witness described Mr Tunney as being "kicked - like they were kicking footballs at a goal". He died in hospital five weeks later after being in a coma. Mr Kirk was beaten with a pole.

Jake Douglas, Brandon Pitt, and Daniel Hunt, all 18, and two other teenagers who cannot be named, were cleared of murder, but convicted of manslaughter.

Pitt was given a seven-year sentence, Douglas and Hunt were both handed four-and-a-half-year terms.

A 17-year-old was jailed for four years for manslaughter and a youth of 16 for 45 months. Neither can be named because of their ages.

Mr Justice Andrew Smith paid tribute to Mr Tunney, a car valeter, saying he was a "wholly decent man" who was kind to others.

Mr Tunney's partner of five years, Vix Cooper, said in a statement to the court: "The most heartbreaking thing is knowing all of this could have been avoided."

Image copyright Cleveland Police
Image caption Brandon Pitt, Daniel Hunt and Jake Douglas were convicted of manslaughter

After the hearing, Mr Tunney's father, Keith Wilson, said he was disappointed with the sentences handed out.

He said: "Some of them will have their lives back in a few years and we've lost our son. He'll never come back.

"I think the system is unfair and we're very disappointed."

Det Ch Insp Steve Young, of Cleveland Police, said: "On that evening, Shane was a hero and he should be remembered as just that.

"Those responsible acted in a pack, carefully coordinating their attack on Shane and Anthony.

"They were viciously assaulted with a metal bar for no reason. The victims were simply going to pick up food and did not ask for a fight."

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