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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 15:26 GMT
Murder terms increased by judges
Keith Philpott
Mr Philpott was killed in March 2005
Two men who disembowelled and stabbed a disabled man to death have had their prison sentences increased by judges.

Sean Swindon, 25, and Michael Peart, 22, admitted the brutal murder of Keith Philpott, 36, in March 2005.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Swindon of no fixed address, and Peart, of Eamont Road, wrongly believed their victim, was a paedophile.

The Court of Appeal in London raised Swindon's sentence from 20 to 28 years and Peart's term from 15 to 22 years.

The court heard how the pair forced their way into Mr Philpott's home in Axbridge Court, High Grange, Teesside, gagged and bound him and spent hours sadistically torturing him.

The court also heard that the pair had chosen their victim because Swindon believed he was having a sexual relationship with his 19-year-old sister.

'Some comfort'

He enlisted the help of self-confessed paedophile-hater Peart and during the attack Mr Philpott, who had learning difficulties, was repeatedly kicked and punched.

The court also heard how Swindon stabbed his victim in the stomach before disembowelling him.

On Thursday, three judges imposed the increases after agreeing with the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC, that their original minimum terms of 20 and 15 years were "unduly lenient".

Lord Justice Rose said: "Mr Philpott was well-known and respected in the Billingham area and those who knew him described him as friendly, polite, helpful and a lovely lad who would never walk past without saying 'hello'."

After the hearing Mr Philpott's brother Stephen, 43, said: "There is some sort of comfort in the fact that the sentences have been increased, which is a reflection on the gravity of the offence."


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