A 24-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Raymond Ward after inflicting horrific injuries on his victim over the disappearance of two bags of heroin.
As previously reported, the body of Raymond, 51, was found in a disused local authority building on Cliff Gardens in Scunthorpe in July last year.
A post-mortem of the body previously found that the victim suffered a physical attack and was fatally injured.
He was homeless at the time of his death and was sleeping in the building along with other homeless drug addicts including Dion Hendry.
Hendry, of no fixed abode, has now been given a sentence with a minimum of 18 years after inflicting 57 horrific injuries on the victim over the disappearance of two bags of heroin.
The majority of the injuries were to the victim’s head which resulted in his death.
During the eight day trial Hendry was described as being a ‘dominant’ amongst members of the group who lived in the property.
Raymond leaves behind two children, a father and brothers and a sister.
‘Taken away any hope’
Raymond’s brother Jon Ward said in a witness statement read out in court: “The opportunity for us as a family to deal with Ray’s issues has forever been destroyed by Dion Hendry. He has not only murdered Ray, but also taken away any hope that we may have had to heal our family.
“We have no sympathy for Dion Hendry. We know his history. We know his is yet another wasted life. We feel for his family and the absolute shame he has brought upon them.
“As a family we have had to live with the torture that drug abuse has on a family. We sympathise with all of the families that suffer this way. Very few though see their son, sibling, or father murdered. It is devastating. We know that we can never undo anything now.”
‘Difficult and complex case’
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Calvert of Humberside Police’s Major Crime Team, said: “Throughout this eight day trial Raymond Ward’s family have had to endure some graphic and upsetting images of the scene and of Mr Ward.
“At the time of his death Mr Ward weighed a mere 51 kg and had been known to have suffered a broken back in recent years which made him particularly vulnerable.
“Dion Hendry pleaded not guilty to this offence which in no small part has added to the distress Mr Ward’s family have had to go through.
“This was a difficult and complex case and I hope today’s verdict brings some comfort to the family who have been so dignified throughout the trial.”