Two teenagers have been given life sentences for the killing of 24-year-old Shane Tunney who was "kicked like a football" in an horrific attack by a group of seven. At Teesside Crown Court, Kearan Terry Davis and Kieran Harry Davis, both 18, were given life sentences for murder.
Among the five others, Jake Douglas, Brandon Pitt, and Daniel Hunt, all 18, and two other teenagers who cannot be named because of their ages, were cleared of murder, but convicted of manslaughter.
The jury heard that Tunney and his friend Anthony Kirk were out in the early hours of 27 June 2015 in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, when they were pelted with waste food by a group of teenagers from the roof of a Tesco store.
Soon after asking them to stop, the two men were attacked.
The Crown said that Tunney and Kirk were led into a "trap" and surrounded by the teenagers to "teach them a lesson", according to the Gazette.
One witness described Tunney as being stamped on and "kicked - like they were kicking footballs at a goal". He died in hospital more than five weeks later after being in a coma. Mr Kirk was hit with an iron pole and survived his injuries.
Mr Justice Andrew Smith said in court that Tunney, a car valeter, was a "wholly decent man" who was kind to others. The 24-year-old's partner, Vix Cooper, read a statement to the court: "I felt like my heart had been ripped out and stamped on."
She added: "The most heartbreaking thing is knowing all of this could have been avoided."
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Young, of Cleveland Police, said: "On that evening, Shane was a hero and he should be remembered as just that.
"Those responsible acted in a pack, carefully coordinating their attack on Shane and Anthony.
"They were viciously assaulted with a metal bar for no reason. The victims were simply going to pick up food and did not ask for a fight."