Page last updated at 15:36 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 16:36 UK

Three convicted of sadistic killing of Wigan man

Shaun Beatty, Owen Skeate and Rebecca Birt
The three will be sentenced on 9 April

Three people have been found guilty of killing a man in a sexually-motivated and sadistic attack in Wigan.

Shaun Fitton, also known as Shaun Anthony Hall, suffered internal injuries caused by the handle of a mop, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

He was attacked by Owen Skeate, 23, Shaun Beatty, 20, and Rebecca Birt, 22, after drunkenly asking Birt, Beatty's girlfriend, for sex.

A jury convicted Skeate and Beatty of murder, and Birt of manslaughter.

The three, who are from Wigan, will be sentenced on 9 April.

A fourth person, Michael Gerrard, 22, of Rivington Street, Atherton, was cleared of murder and released.

Beaten and stripped

The trial heard how the attack began after 26-year-old Mr Fitton's sexual advances towards Birt at her home in Tyldesley, Wigan, in August 2009.

Mr Fitton was beaten, stripped naked and hauled around in a wheelie bin.

Shaun Fitton
Shaun Fitton died from multiple organ failure

The jury was shown a home video recording of what was described as the "horrific" attack with a mop handle.

Voices of others could be heard in the background laughing and shouting words of encouragement.

Neil Flewitt QC, prosecuting, told jurors: "This was, we suggest, a sexually motivated and sadistic killing."

Officers, who were alerted by neighbours, found the victim lying unconscious in the back yard of Birt's house.

He died in hospital later from massive internal injuries and head injuries sustained in the attack, the court heard.

All four defendants, who are from the Wigan area, had denied murder.

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