Thirty years for man who tortured love rival to death

Gary Speight
Gary Speight

A FORMER Lancaster man has been sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in jail for torturing a love rival to death with a hot poker.

Gary Speight, 31, who went to St Wilfrid’s Primary School in Halton and Ripley St Thomas School in Lancaster, also beat Anthony Bates with a broom handle, stabbed him in the neck with a skewer and poured molten syrup over his head after he discovered he had been sleeping with his girlfriend while he was in jail.

In what senior prosecutors described as one of the most chilling cases they have heard, Mr Bates was branded with the poker as Blondie’s One Way or Another played in the background.

Judge Charles Byers said he was satisfied Mr Bates died in “exquisite pain” and that Speight had tortured him with a “sadistic pleasure”.

He also had his skull stamped on until it fractured and had his kneecaps broken.

See the Lancaster Guardian (22-12-11) for full story.