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Two men jailed for 'merciless beating'

The men were sentenced at Derry Crown Court

TWO men have been jailed for lengthy periods at Derry Crown Court for what a judge described as a "merciless beating".

Kenneth Robert Ferguson (30) of Leafair Gardens in Derry was sentenced to 12 years while Sean Johnston (35) whose address was given as Flora Gardens in London was given a 10 year sentence.

Both were convicted of maliciously wounding a man with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm on July 21 2016 during an incident at a house in Strathfoyle.

Ferguson was also convicted of threatening to kill the man and then dumping his body in a wheelie bin.

Both denied the offences.

Various weapons were used including a tow bar, a bat and a knife. The victim suffered multiple lacerations to his head and arms as well as a fracture to his arm.

Both men denied assaulting the man and claimed they had left the house when the injured party and another man started play fighting. They also suggested there were others who would wish ill on the injured man and said maybe they carried out the attack.

Judge Philip Babington said drugs may have been involved.

"The ferocity of the assault can be gauged by the fact that when they left they left smears of the complaint's blood on the outside of the window," he said.

He added that they concocted a "hopeless lying defence" and attacked the character of the complainant.

The judge said the only distinction between the pair was that Ferguson made a threat to kill. He imposed a 12 year sentence on Ferguson and 10 years on Johnston. Both men will be subject to a Violent Offences Prevention Order.

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