THE judge who sentenced three men to more than 60 years in prison for the murder and torture of convicted rapist Alan Lee Street described their crime as 'deliberately prolonged, cruel and humiliating.'
Judge Anthony Russell QC, Recorder of Preston, sentenced murdering brother-in-laws Peter Leonard and Allan Palmer to life in prison.
Leonard, 52, of Trinity Street, Oswaldtwistle was told he must serve a minimum of 27 years and 66 days in prison, after he was found guilty by a jury on 16 October this year.
This means he will be 80-years-old before he is eligible for release.
He was also sentenced to one year in prison for another charge of assisting an offender in to disposing of a body, which will run concurrently with his life sentence.
Palmer, 44, of Stockbridge Road, Padiham was also handed a mandatory life sentence after pleading guilty to murder.
Judge Russell told him he must serve a minimum of 24 years and 66 days.
Both men had the 299 days already served in custody taken off their sentence.
Judge Russell QC said: “This was a terrible, cruel and humiliating killing that must have caused the victim a great deal of pain.
“This attack had elements of torture which can not be ignored. In my opinion the use of scissors was simply a form of humiliating the victim.
“This is a crime that both you Peter Leonard and Allan Palmer must take full responsibility.”
A third man Kieron Davison, 21, of Lancaster Drive, Padiham was handed an indeterminate sentence after indicating a guilty plea to Manslaughter and being found guilty of it my a jury.
Telling him he must serve a minimum of eight years in prison before he can be considered for parole, Judge Russell QC said: “I agree with Mr Street's partner Jayne Proctor who in her witness statement said she felt sorry for you. I think you were misled and simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Oswaldtwistle man, Alan Lee Street, of Lime Avenue, was just 26-years-old, when he was savagely murdered at 29 Stockbridge Road, Padiham three days before Christmas last year.
Mr Street had been on a night out in Burnley, when he met up with his killers completely by chance.
Allan Palmer, lured Mr Street back to his home on 'Mad Friday 21 December' - the busiest night of the year for pubs and clubs.
Police say that Mr Street was 'extremely drunk', and not in a position to defend himself when he was attacked with fists, feet, a litre size whisky bottle, a wooden pole and a pair of scissors.
A plastic carrier bag was then placed over his head.
A murder investigation was launched after an anonymous caller told police there was a blood soaked room and clothing in a house in Stockbridge Road.
The quantity of blood found in the house told police that they were dealing with a murder and an investigation was launched without a body.
Following intensive searches Mr Street's body was found by chance on 19 January wrapped in a duvet in a culvert, under Woodnook Mill, in Mount Street, Accrington by contractors of the Environment Agency.
During the trial, the jury heard that Leonard and Mr Street had fallen out, after Mr Street had started seeing Leonard's ex-girlfriend Jayne Proctor.
This had caused a feud between the pair which resulted in Mr Street attacking Leonard in the Golden Cross Pub in 2006.
It is then thought that Leonard, who knew he could not get the better of Mr Street alone was looking for a chance for revenge and this came in the form of sadistic torture on that fatal night.
Kieron Davison, Palmer's lodger, attacked Mr Street after being wrongly told he was a paedophile and it is thought his part in the killing was a number of punches.
Mr Street's mother Anne Bennett, father Alan Arthur Street and his wife and girlfriend Jayne Proctor fought back their emotions as the sentences were read out.
Sentencing the killers Judge Anthony Russell QC told the men: “This was a murder of gratuitous violence on a man that you knew was unable to defend himself because he was intoxicated.
“I believe he was lured back to the house. We will never know who inflicted which injuries which caused Mr Street's death.”
Detective Superintendent Neil Hunter who led the investigation said after the sentence: “I am very pleased with the sentences, and I think they reflect the gratuitous level of violence used. Leonard will be 80-years-old when he is released.
“Jayne and the family are delighted with the verdict. They have a chosen to keep a a dignified silence throughout the case as this is reflected through the victim statement and her comments about Davison.
“Throughout the case Jayne has been crystal clear about who was responsible. I just hope now that Jayne and Mr Street's other family members will be able to move on, and start the long grieving process.”