A PENSIONER and her son who murdered a jogger in a “wicked and cruel” fashion after he ran on their land were today jailed for 57 years.
Scott Dawson, 41, and his mum Carol Dawson, 72, killed Gary Dean after they “fed off each other’s venon” following a long-running dispute about where he was jogging.
He was found dead in woods near Barnsley, South Yorkshire, after they rowed about a piece of their land he would regularly run on.
Mr Dean, 48, was shot in the back with an air rifle and repeatedly beaten with rocks and branches before his body was left in a ditch, where it was found by a walker in September last year.
A judge today said they “fed off the venom within each other” and the “toxic mixture led to murder” while jailing them for a total of 57 years.
Scott was jailed for a minimum of 31 years while his mum Carol was jailed for a minimum of 26 years after also being convicted of murder at Sheffield Crown Court.
Judge Jeremy Richardson QC said: “You both fed off the venom within each other. This toxic mixture led to murder.”
He said the murder was worsened by the fact that Mr Dean’s autism made him a vulnerable target.
Their trial heard how the dispute over the path involved the Dawsons securing a restraining order against Mr Dean after they complained to police about him, saying he was damaging their property.
A “stay away” sign had been posted on a stile leading to the path, the court heard.
Mr Dean’s wife, Caroline, told the jury that she and her husband were terrorised in the run up to his murder.
Mrs Dean said the couple were regularly followed and threatened and their house in Barnsley was daubed with offensive graffiti.
She also told the court that four youths burst into their home and injured them.
In a statement read to the court, Mrs Dean said: “The brutal nature of Gary’s death haunts us all.
“He had tried to get away, already seriously injured, when the attack continued in an unnecessarily brutal way.
I have to come to terms with the fact that my husband suffered a painful and violent death and that he died alone in a ditch.
“I cannot begin to imagine the pain and terror he felt as he was beaten to death.”
Police described Mr Dean’s murder as “an absolutely brutal attack over a small dispute”.