TWO young people who tied up and tortured a man during a sickening drink and drug-fuelled attack have been sentenced to life imprisonment for his murder.

Kieran Adey, 19, and Zoe Warren, 20, were told they will serve a minimum term of 17 years behind bars before they are eligible for parole following the brutal killing of Mark Shaw.

The father-of-two, 29, was subjected to a shockingly savage, prolonged attack at his home in Grange Villa, near Chester-le-Street, before Christmas.

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The Northern Echo:

KILLERS: Kieran Adey and Zoe Warren

He was left bleeding to death, his body bound at the wrists and ankles while Warren, his girlfriend at the time, and Adey, supposedly a friend, continued drinking and getting high on cocaine and amphetamines.

Mr Shaw was found dead in his bed by police hours later when the alarm was raised after Adey casually boasted they had left him ‘looking like the elephant man’ to neighbours.

He was killed by a single stab wound, but before he died was subjected to a vicious beating with punches, kicks, bites, blows from a pool cue over a period of several hours.

Mr Shaw suffered fractures to his cheek bone and eight ribs, and he had been knocked unconscious for a time, before the attack, in the early hours of December 17, started again.

The following day Warren hid under a bed with Adey while police scoured the village.

Both were arrested a short time later but while Adey was charged with murder, Warren was initially released, only to be re-arrested two months later after confessing to a new boyfriend who went to police.

The pair had denied murder, each blaming the other for the killing, but were convicted after a two week trial by a jury on Wednesday morning.

Warren, from Washington, was stony-faced and shook her head, while Adey wiped tears from his eyes as the unanimous guilty verdicts were read out before the lunch break.

Mr Shaw’s family wept quiet tears of relief in the public gallery, which grew into whoops of delight once they were in the waiting area of Newcastle Crown Court.

Before sentence was passed, mid-afternoon, Mr Shaw’s mother, Val Watson, 56, from Great Lumley read an emotional victim impact statement to the court.

She said: “Mark was a well-liked lad. He was the life and soul of everything. Every single day has been like a nightmare. I cannot put into words what this has done to his family.

“We are not, and never will be, the same again, or the same people.

“I find myself crying where ever I go. I have mental pain when I imagine the torture Mark suffered in his death.

“I have never hated anyone in my life but I feel so much hatred towards Kieran Adey and Zoe Warren for what they did and the suffering we will continue to have for the rest of our lives.”

This time, Warren showed no emotion as the impact of her actions were laid bare before the court.

Adey too remained unmoved, and sat in the dock with a curious smile hovering on his lips.

Sentencing them, Judge James Goss said: “It was a cruel, merciless and sustained episode of brutality, punctuated by a trip out of the house, leaving him helpless, in order to get more drink.

“He offered no resistance, having only a short time earlier been resuscitated by the emergency services following a heroin overdose.

“He undoubtedly suffered greatly in the time before his death and after you killed him he was left bound on the bed and you continued your night out, drinking and drug-taking.

“Neither of you have shown any genuine remorse.”

The court heard Adey, of Queen Street, Grange Villa, had 36 convictions for 58 offences, including dishonesty, criminal damage, burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.

When he was 12 he was convicted of assaulting another schoolboy and possessing a knife. The following year he assaulted a police officer by biting him.

He has already been given two short stays in a young offenders’ institute and was subject to a community order for car theft when he killed his friend.

Toby Hedworth, mitigating, said he suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and delayed brain development, which meant he had a learning disability.

Warren, who is from Washington has 24 convictions for 38 offences including shoplifting, disorder, damage as well as drunk and disorderly.

She was first convicted as juvenile in 2012, assaulted a police officer the following year and in 2015 threated to stab a member of the public and a security guard at the Galleries shopping centre in Washington.

The jury was also found guilty of witness intimidation for making a veiled threat to her new boyfriend that he could be arrested for sex offences for telling police about her confession to the murder.

Caroline Goodwin, for Warren, said the only mitigation was her age.

The court was told she had only been in a relationship with Mr Shaw for a week or so and had moved into his house.

The judge said he formed the view she had taken advantaged of his kindness.

He said: “You claimed in evidence to have loved him. If you did you betrayed that love.

“Zoe Warren you are not without intelligence and an ability to manipulate and you were not the victim in these events, as have sought to persuade the jury to conclude.

“You believed you had got away with murder but admitted to Paul Strong your involvement in the killing.”

The judge said both Adey and Warren were both responsible for Mr Shaw’s death.

He said: “Whoever dealt the fatal wound intended to kill. It is not possible for me to conclude who it was.”

After the hearing, Mr Shaw’s sister, Haley Richardson, thanked the police and Crown Prosecution service.

Chief Superintendent Adrian Green, from Durham Constabulary, said: “This was a vicious and prolonged attack and there is no doubt that Mark suffered at the hands of his killers.

“I hope that these convictions will offer his family some comfort that justice has been served.”