“Goodnight, God bless” – these were the chilling last words uttered by a dangerous killer after he struck a fatal blow to a dad from Houghton Le Spring.
Sean Mason’s body was coldly dumped into a wheelie bin and taken outside a block of flats on Avondale Avenue in May this year where he was left – he had been subjected to a sustained and brutal attack.
Tragically, the 55-year-old was found by his son hours later, who flagged down a passing police vehicle in a desperate attempt to save his dad’s life.
But sadly, Mr Mason later died as a result of the horrendous injuries sustained in a callous and brutal attack by Wayne Froud and Steven Milroy in and around Milroy’s flat earlier that morning.
During the two week trial held at Newcastle Crown Court, the defendants repeatedly denied murdering Mr Mason following an accusation that he had previously ‘taxed’ items belonging to them.
The jury was also shown a chilling video recorded on Milroy’s phone showing a bloodied Mr Mason on his knees, unable to speak.
In the clip, Froud delivers a blow to his victim and his voice can be heard in the background saying: “Goodnight, God bless. That’s all I’ve got to say to you boy. Goodbye”.
Instead of admitting their roles in the violent attack, the pair both continued to deny causing the death of Mr Mason.
Yesterday (Wednesday), a jury found Froud, 36, of Wensleydale Avenue, Penshaw, guilty of murder following a two-week trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
Milroy, 47, of Avondale Avenue, Penshaw, was found guilty of manslaughter. Both men will be sentenced later this month.
The family of Sean Mason said: “As a family we have been robbed of a loving dad and a grandad and although nothing can be said or done to ease our pain, we are pleased that the jury have managed to see through the blatant lies of both defendants.
“We now hope that they spend a considerable length of time behind bars.
“We would like to thank the police and Crown Prosecution Service for their support throughout this extremely difficult time.”
Speaking after the case, Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Sharon Chatterton, said: “Sadly there is no outcome which will take away the grief and sense of loss that the Mason family are experiencing, but I hope today can serve as the first step towards the closure they all deserve.
“I am pleased that the jury were able to see Froud and Milroy for what they are – they are brazenly violent men with no remorse.
“Not only did they subject their victim, to a horrendous attack, but they left him to die and for his own child to find him outside in the communal garden area.
“Serious violence has no place in our communities and I would like to take this opportunity to again pass my condolences to the family and recognise the pain that they have endured as a result of Sean’s death, but also as a result of having to endure a Crown Court trial.
“I would also like to thank all the officers involved in this investigation for their hard work to bring two dangerous men to justice.”
Milroy and Froud are both due to be sentenced on December 22.