A judge has failed to treat the murder of a disabled man who was imprisoned and tortured to death by his killer as a disability hate crime, raising fresh concerns about flawed legislation that is supposed to ensure higher sentences for such offences. Newcastle Crown Court heard during an eight-week trial how James Wheatley, 29, of Studdon Walk, Kenton Bar, Newcastle, repeatedly kicked, punched and stamped on Lee Irving in attacks that took place over nine days, leaving him with multiple broken bones and other injuries. Irving, 24, who had learning difficulties, thought Wheatley was his friend and was living in his house at the time of the attacks. But Wheatley and his co-defendants targeted Irving for his money and possessions, with Wheatley signing him up to online banking so he could empty his account. After the final attack that led to his death, Irving’s body was taken on a pushchair through a housing estate and dumped on a patch of grass near the A1. Gerry Wareham, chief crown

Source: Murder of disabled man tortured to death by ‘friend’ was not hate crime, says judge | DisabledGo News and Blog

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