Man jailed for life for beating father-of-one to death with Pokemon cards after being called a ‘nonce’
A man has been jailed for life after bludgeoning his neighbour to death with a bag full of Pokemon cards. Andrew Hague, 31, murdered Simon Wilkinson because he was angry about being called a ‘nonce’.
Hague performed the ”ferocious and brutal” attack with makeshift weapons including a bag containing metal tins of the trading cards. He also punched and stamped on the father-of-one in a sustained public assault outside his flat.
Hague was sentenced to life with a minimum of 17 years, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Delivering the verdict, judge Sarah Wright said: “This was an unremitting and merciless attack upon a neighbour of yours where you took the decision during the savage assault to kill him.”
Prosecutor Laura Marshall said Hague and Simon been involved verbal altercation with each other, during which Simon reportedly called Hague a ‘nonce b*stard’. After telling Simon to “come out here and fight like a man,” Hague attacked him with a bag containing four or five tins of Pokemon cards, she said.
Witnesses described seeing Hague repeatedly swinging the bag “like a cricketer,” leaving Simon bloodied and lifeless on the ground, Ms Marshall told the court. Hague then repeatedly punched and stamped on the victim before retrieving a bat or a plank of wood and hitting him “numerous times,” the court heard.
Several neighbours who witnessed the prolonged attack made emergency calls to 999, and armed police and paramedics both arrived at the scene at 8.31pm. Unfortunately, Simon was pronounced dead at the scene just minutes after they arrived.
A post-mortem examination showed he died as a result of head and facial injuries, from repeated severe blows. Police body-cam footage showed Hague retreated to his ground-floor flat and put several layers of clothing on as armed officers negotiated with him.
He subsequently complied with police and was handcuffed and arrested. Hague pleaded guilty to murder at a hearing last month and was jailed on Tuesday.
Hague suffers from a psychotic illness and a personality disorder, and had stopped taking his medication before the killing, the court heard. Hague’s barrister, Andrew Vout KC, said his illness fell short of offering him a defence of diminished responsibility or insanity, but it was a “significant factor” in the killing.
He said: “He’s made choices, but he’s made them through a distorted prism.”
In a statement read to the court, Simon’s mum Eileen said she was ‘heartbroken’ by the ‘barbaric, brutal and evil attack of violence’.
She said: “Simon was loved by friends and family for his sense of humour, kindness and friendship.”