Two men have been jailed for life 15 years after punching and kicking a man unconscious in a brutal assault in Peterborough.
Paul Machin was left with serious head injuries and was rushed to hospital after being attacked by Shane Wright and Kieron Hennessey on September 6, 2006.
Mr Machin had been walking home with his girlfriend from the Windmill pub in Cherry Orton Road, Orton Longueville, when they came across Wright and Hennessey in a group walking the other way at about 10.40pm.
Wright insulted the couple and words were exchanged before the pair attacked Mr Machin, forcing him to the ground and repeatedly kicking and stamping on his head until he was unconscious.
The attackers were arrested soon after and in March the following year both were jailed for three-and-a-half years after being convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
However, Mr Machin, who had suffered irreversible brain damage and paralysis, died in August 2019 at a care home in Liverpool.
Fresh charges of murder were brought after it was concluded the assault had caused his death and Wright, of HMP Swaleside, and Hennessey, of Wesleyan Road, Peterborough, entered guilty pleas.
On Wednesday (December 22) at Cambridge Crown Court they were jailed for life and told they would serve a minimum of nine years in prison.
Judge Mr Justice Murray said a victim statement from Mr Machin’s daughter had made it clear the huge impact the crime had had on the family.
DC Gareth Purdy said: “Wright and Hennessey were clearly looking for a fight on that night in 2006 but their attack on Mr Machin was brutal.
“Following the attack, Wright also kicked and punched Mr Machin’s distraught girlfriend and even stole from the victim as he lay lifeless on the ground.
“It was a senseless, cowardly and completely unprovoked attack, which led directly to Mr Machin’s tragic death in 2019 and the sentences handed down today.
“I cannot imagine what Mr Machin’s family have gone through since that terrible night but I hope today’s result can give them some crumbs of comfort, knowing that justice has been done.”