Friends jailed for life after battering men (55) to death

Daniel Waddington
Daniel Waddington

Two friends who battered two men to death in ferocious attacks at a Burnley flat have both been jailed for life.

Kenneth Howson and Daniel Waddington brutally killed 55-year-olds Neil Gilmore and James Atkinson following a drinking session.

Kenneth Howson

Kenneth Howson

Howson was given a minimum term to serve of 27 years and his co-defendant, who had been led on by him, was given a 24-year minimum term.

The judge, Mr Justice MacDuff, told them: “You stoked yourself up with drink and literally beat these two men to death using a bottle, wooden stick, your fists and feet.”

The judge said the scene inside the flat was unimaginable, with blood everywhere. He told the pair: “You showed no mercy, no humanity, no compassion.”

Mr Atkinson was the former partner of Howson’s late mother who had died several weeks earlier, from an apparent overdose. Howson and other family members had allegedly felt he could have done more to save her.

Preston Crown Court heard Mr Gilmore may have been killed, simply because he had extended the hand of friendship to James Atkinson who was homeless following a fire attack on his home.

After they were sentenced, 19-year-old Lee Howson, who admitted perverting the course of justice, by receiving his brother’s heavily blood stained clothes, was given a two-year community order, which will involve 12 months supervision. He had not disposed of the clothes. His barrister said Lee Howson could not be more different from his brother.

There’s more on this shocking story in today’s Express