Two men found guilty of the murder of Lincoln pensioner Sonny Grey have been sentenced to a cumulative 54 years of jail.
Rocky Curtis (25) received 28 years in prison, and Robert Holmes (24) was sentenced to 26 years jail.
Sonny Grey sustained 46 injuries, including serious burns by being scalded with a kettle, during the 35 minutes the men spent in the attack at his home in October 2011.
The men also put a ligature around his neck and throttled him. They then ransacked the property, before stealing several items, including jewellery.
Sonny Grey crawled out of his house in agony and was found later by his granddaughter and the daughter of his ex-partner. He died in hospital two days later.
Both men are from Whisbech and admitted to being part of more than 500 raids across the county in the months leading up to Sonny Grey’s murder.
A third man, Thomas Andrew Curtis (30), was arrested in connection with the murder in December 2011. He was recalled to prison in relation to other matters and subsequently died. The circumstances of his death are subject to an inquest.
The judge said that the leader of the attack was most likely Thomas Curtis, which was taken into account when sentencing the other two burglars.
Lincolnshire Police Det Supt Stuart Morrison said: “This is an extremely significant sentence and it will send a very clear message to anyone committing violent crime in Lincolnshire and the rest of the East Midlands.
“This kind of mindless brutality will not be tolerated and we will use the staff and resources of the combined five forces in the East Midlands to bring to justice anyone committing such crimes.
“This was a horrendous attack on a 72-year-old man carried out by vicious thugs who used a horrific level of violence. Mr Gray died in a considerable amount of pain and this has caused his family an enormous amount of distress over that the last year or so.
“We hope this sentence offers them some small consolation that justice has been done and that they may now be able to start moving forward with their lives.”