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Killers sentenced for ‘mindless attack’ on stranger
A MAN who killed a grandfather in a violent and unprovoked attack in a York street has been jailed for life.
Liam Matthew Wyard, 20, was today sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of the brutal murder of Keith Wright as he waited for a bus in Acomb.
Wyard has to serve a minimum jail term of 12 years before he can be considered for parole.
Aaron Wootton, aged 17, was found guilty of manslaughter for his part in the attack, and was jailed for three years.
Mr Wright, 50, was punched to the ground and kicked in the head by Wyard at a bus stop in Acomb Road last January in an attack which left him fighting for his life with serious brain injuries.
Mr Wright died ten days later.
Wootton, who had been drinking with Wyard that evening, joined in the attack on Mr Wright.
In a statement, Mr Wright's family said: “We are devastated by this life changing event. It puts things that are trivial into perspective.
“Nothing can bring Keith back, but we thank all the witnesses who have helped us get some sense of justice. We also thank the police, legal team, the victim support, and staff at York District Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary who cared for Keith before he died.
“Keith was a private man who kept himself to himself. He was born and bred in York.
“He lived alone in Acomb, but his daughter, grandchildren, sister, two brothers, nieces and nephews all live locally.
“Keith enjoyed listening to music, and kept himself smart. He had a good sense of humour. We miss him.”
Detective Sergeant Steve Wilson, of York CID, said: “Mr Wright died as a result of a brutal and unprovoked attack.
“He was minding his own business while waiting at a bus stop when Wyard and Wootton, who did not know him, attacked him for no apparent reason.
“They subjected him to an assault so vicious and sustained that Mr Wright had no chance of defending himself. Wyard was seen to kick Mr Wright full force to his head as he lay unconscious on the ground.
“The attack was witnessed by a number of people who were shocked by the level of violence used by Wyard and Wootton. Some tried to stop the attack, others informed the police, and some gave first aid to Mr Wright.
“The evidence provided by these witnesses was vital to the prosecution’s case and I thank them all for their contribution. “What has happened to Mr Wright cannot be undone, and his family feel the deep loss of their father, brother, uncle, and grandfather.
“Now that Wyard and Wootton are behind bars, I hope that Mr Wright’s family are assured that the public will be protected from these two defendants for many years to come, and feel some sense of justice.”