A pair of 25-year-old men have been jailed for life for beating to death a young homeless man in Salford.
Daniel Smith’s burned body was discovered under railway arches near Salford Central Station on Tuesday 9 January.
Manchester Crown Court heard how the 23-year-old had been violently attacked for a number of hours with a wooden bat and a hammer before his killers set the body on fire in a desperate attempt to cover-up the murder.
Luke Benson and Adam Acton were found guilty by a jury who heard sickening evidence of the violence that unfolded that night in Salford.
Both were arrested and remanded in custody charged with murder.
Benson has been jailed for 21 years and Acton 22 years.
Firefighters were called to the archway to put out the blaze, which the two attackers started in Daniel’s tent.
The court also heard about how the two were high on Spice whilst committing the attack.
Spice, also known as K2, is an artificial cannabis substitute made from dried plant material and grounded up herbs, before being coated with synthetic cannabinoids.
The drug is thought to be 100 times stronger that the outlawed Class B drug.
The killers tried to recruit a 16-year-old boy and Acton’s partner Amanda Briggs to help them cover-up Daniel’s death; both were also jailed for 18-months for perverting the course of justice.
Speaking about the case, Superintendent Emily Higham stated: “Benson and Acton subjected Daniel to a sustained, violent and sickening assault before setting fire to him in an attempt to hide what they had done.”
“While this sentence can never make up for what this man’s family have lost, I hope it can help bring some closure to them after this tragic attack.”
The Superintendent went on to pay tribute to witnesses who had the ‘courage to come forward’ to find Smith’s killers.