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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Life for drug addict's murderers
Joseph Tingle and Mark Pearson
The drug dealing pair murdered their victim in a revenge attack
Two men have been given life sentences for murdering a Teesside heroin addict in a dispute over drugs.

Joseph Tingle, 23, and 28-year-old Mark Pearson have been ordered to spend a minimum of 18 years in jail for the murder of Richard Petty, aged 35.

Mr Petty was found with stab wounds at his home in Melsonby Court, Billingham, in March this year.

Pearson had pleaded guilty, but Tingle, of Saint James's House, Stockton, was found guilty after a trial.

Pearson, of Denbigh Road, Billingham, pleaded guilty in June to the murder.

During Tingle's seven-day trial, the jury heard that he and Pearson, who were drug dealers, believed Mr Petty had stolen 80 from one of their street dealers.

'Move on'

Teesside Crown Court was also told that the pair risked losing face after the incident so they tracked down their victim, who was stabbed seven times with a kitchen knife.

The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Peter Fox QC, said the Teesside community would not tolerate warfare between drug dealers which ended in violence.

After the sentencing Mr Petty's brother James, said he was relieved the case was over.

He said: "A crime of that nature deserves a sentence which is fitting.

"I am relieved more than anything - we now have to try and move on."


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