A STRANGLER and his long-term friend have been jailed for life this morning for the murder of a "kind, gentle" man. 

Curtis Turpin, 37, and Adam Craig Hudson, 41, both of whom grew up and lived in York, had only met Leeds man Francis McNally for the first time in the hours leading up to his death. 

York Press: Murder victim Francis McNallyMurder victim Francis McNally (Image: North Yorkshire Police)

Sentencing the pair, Judge Andrew Stubbs KC said the murderers had given a display of "senseless, sickening violence" when they killed him. 

Mr McNally's sister Alexandra described the  two murderers as "violent, evil" men and said that what they did was "unforgiveable". 

Turpin was also sentenced for causing actual bodily harm to a woman in a separate incident including by strangling her.  

He was on bail for that offence when he committed the murder.

He will serve a minimum of 16 years and three months before he can apply for parole. 

Both the murder and the assault on the woman happened in his flat in Markham Crescent, off Haxby Road. 

His barrister Mark McKone KC said of Turpin: "He was clearly an alcoholic and drug addict at this point and functioning at a lower level than most people."

Richard Wright KC for Hudson said he suffered from "an illness akin to paranoid schizophrenia" during his time on remand awaiting trial and it was possible his mental health would fail again. 

The judge said a psychiatrist had concluded Hudson was not suffering from hallucinations at the time of the murder.

Hudson, of Rowntree Avenue, Clifton, must spent a minimum of  15 years six months behind bars.

If they are released, they will remain on prison licence for the rest of their lives. 

Neither man gave any reaction as three members of Mr McNally's close family gave Leeds Crown Court tributes to the dead man and what his loss meant to them. 

Mr McNally's sister Alexandra described the killers as "violent and evil" men and said what they had done to her brother was "unforgiveable".

Judge Stubbs said Mr McNally had been "particularly vulnerable" because of the amount of alcohol he had drunk, something which the murderers knew.

He was also "completely defenceless" during the onslaught of blows by a vacuum cleaner pole, as well as feet and hands and when a pair of pyjama bottoms were put round his neck.

At some point, the pair had intended to kill him. 

"I am sure he couldn't and didn't react, he couldn't and didn't defend himself or even move," the judge said. 

Neither killer gave any reaction when the sentence was passed.  Both had denied murder and Turpin had denied the charge of actual bodily harm but been convicted by a jury last week. 

The court heard both had long records for violence and other offences. Turpin had 52 previous convictions, including those for violence involving the neck, and Hudson had 201 convictions, including for causing the death of a pensioner by dangerous riding of a stolen motorbike. 

They had lived a life dominated by alcohol, drugs and violence, said Judge Stubbs.