Murderers found guilty of torturing and killing frail Batley man

Saleem Butt

Two men have been found guilty of murdering a 61-year-old man in Yorkshire who was tied up, gagged, attacked with weapons, tortured and left to die.

A jury at Leeds Crown Court found Alexander Mackay, 46, and Craig Stanton, 42, guilty over the brutal killing of Saleem Butt after a four-week trial, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Mr Butt’s battered body was found face down in the hallway of his home in Batley in April. His hands had been tied behind his back with rope which ran from his wrists, up his back, over his shoulder and around his neck.

Jurors were told the motive for the attack was for financial gain and it was likely that Mr Butt had been tortured in order to obtain bank card pin numbers from him.

The court heard the killing is likely to have taken place in the early hours of April 23 this year at Mr Butt’s home.

Stanton (l) and Mackay

Peter Moulson, prosecuting, said: “He lived there alone – various frailties rendered him in overarching terms to be described as vulnerable. Mr Butt was subjected to a violent assault. He had sites of multiple blunt force trauma to his head, suggesting a weapon or weapons had been used by his assailants. There was evidence suggestive of strangulation, and gagging of his mouth.”

The victim’s body was found at 8pm later the same day and he was pronounced dead by paramedics. A post mortem revealed Mr Butt had suffered multiple blunt force impacts to the head and deep facial bruising.

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Pressure had also been applied to his neck from a nylon rope which had been wrapped around his neck and knotted in such a way to also bind his wrists.

The jury heard the rope had been used by Mr Butt to tie up plants and had been taken from the garden.

Forensic evidence indicated that attempts had been made to clean blood from the scene. Two days after the killing, Mackay sent Stanton a text message which read: “No comment all the way mate.”

Both men refused to comment when arrested and interviewed by police.

Stanton and Mackay will be sentenced next month.

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