Two men sentenced to life for cruel murder of disabled Leeds man


Steven Varley and Michael Gath were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today to life with a minimum term of 25 years following the brutal murder of Andrew Gordon, 48, at his flat in Leeds.

His spine was broken in two places and he had head injuries similar to those someone would sustain in a car accident or in a fall from a tall building. Mr Gordon, who suffered from a debilitating bone condition and diabetes, had also been gagged or smothered during his ordeal.

Gath had pleaded guilty to murder and two offences of robbery at the start of the trial but Varley continued to deny any responsibility and was unanimously found guilty of the same offences by a jury on evidence which HHJ Marson QC described as "overwhelming".

CPS Crown Advocate Dave MacKay said: "This was a sustained, senseless and brutal attack on a vulnerable person in his own home. Due to his physical disability and vulnerable nature Andrew Gordon had been targeted by Steven Varley for a number of years as an easy source of money in order to feed his alcohol addiction.

"Varley introduced Gath to Andrew Gordon and together they robbed him of money. Days later they returned to obtain more money from him and subjected him to an horrendous assault which caused fatal injuries. The attack took some time during which he would have screaming out in extreme pain. The fear he must have felt cannot be measured.

"I hope that the sentences handed down bring some measure of comfort to his family and sends out a clear message that society will not tolerate the targeting and victimisation of vulnerable people."