Tyne & Wear

Byker hostel killers jailed for 'ferocious attack'

George Dixon (left) and Sean Histon Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption George Dixon (left) was convicted of manslaughter and Sean Histon was found guilty of murder

Two men who killed a man during a "ferocious" attack at a hostel have been jailed.

Ashley Cochrane, 29, was stabbed at the hostel in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, on New Year's Day, and later died.

Sean Histon, 32, of Mitford Gardens, Wallsend, was convicted of murder, and sentenced to life with a minimum term of 30 years.

George Dixon, 38, of Shields Road, Byker, was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 17 years.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Histon and Dixon wanted money for drugs to celebrate the New Year, and found Mr Cochrane slumped on the doorstep of Catherine House in a "drunk and vulnerable state".

Jurors were told he was subjected to a ferocious attack, including being stamped on, stabbed and having his head slammed through a plasterboard wall as the pair tried to get his PIN from him.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Ashley Cochrane suffered "horrendous head injuries"

Det Ch Insp Dave Cole, of Northumbria Police, said: "The first minutes of 2018 would be his last and they were spent in pain and in agony as he was struck time and time again.

"I am glad that a jury has recognised how dangerous Sean Histon and George Dixon are, and they face spending a long time behind bars."

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