Four men who killed John Hutchinson in revenge attack in Blackpool jailed for more than 85 years

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Four people have been jailed for a total of more than 85 years for killing John Hutchinson in Blackpool.

Daniel Cunningham, Lee Clarke and David Bond attacked John Hutchinson, 44, at his friend's home in Blackpool on April 10, 2023.

Mr Hutchinson along with three acquaintances had stolen a "significant quantity of drugs" from Cunningham’s home earlier that day.

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Cunningham, 34, started making a plan to retrieve the stolen drugs less than an hour later.

He messaged Clarke, 33, and identified Mr Hutchinson as one of the armed robbers.

(Top L-R) Lee Clarke and David Bond (Bottom L-R) Daniel Cunningham and Darren McCabe (Credit: Lancashire Police)(Top L-R) Lee Clarke and David Bond (Bottom L-R) Daniel Cunningham and Darren McCabe (Credit: Lancashire Police)
(Top L-R) Lee Clarke and David Bond (Bottom L-R) Daniel Cunningham and Darren McCabe (Credit: Lancashire Police) | Lee

McCabe was subsequently tasked with tracking down Mr Hutchinson and the drugs.

Clarke and Bond then travelled from Merseyside to Blackpool to collect Cunningham and McCabe ready for the revenge attack.

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Shortly before 7pm, a neighbour of the address where Mr Hutchinson was staying contacted the police to report three men (Cunningham, Clarke and Bond) breaking into the property.

McCabe was waiting in the car outside having taken them to the address.

The attack occurred at an address in Scorton Avenue (Credit: Google)The attack occurred at an address in Scorton Avenue (Credit: Google)
The attack occurred at an address in Scorton Avenue (Credit: Google) | Google

McCabe was later seen counting cash at the New Road Inn pub in Talbot Road – his payment for locating Mr Hutchinson and the drugs.

When police arrived, they found Mr Hutchinson had been attacked with a hammer, metal bar and a wooden pole

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They found his head had also been stamped on but he refused to .co-operate with officers

At around 9.10pm, police were called by the ambulance service to the same address after Mr Hutchinson suffered a suspected cardiac arrest.

A post-mortem examination established Mr Hutchinson had died from a ruptured spleen which had caused fatal internal bleeding (Credit: Lancashire Police)A post-mortem examination established Mr Hutchinson had died from a ruptured spleen which had caused fatal internal bleeding (Credit: Lancashire Police)
A post-mortem examination established Mr Hutchinson had died from a ruptured spleen which had caused fatal internal bleeding (Credit: Lancashire Police) | Mr Hutchinson

He was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital for treatment but died a short time later.

A post-mortem examination established he had died from a ruptured spleen which had caused fatal internal bleeding.

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The bleeding had been caused by a hammer blow which had struck with "considerable force" and had fractured a rib and perforated the spleen.

Cunningham, Clarke, Bond and McCabe were identified as the perpetrators following an investigation and were arrested over the following days. They were unanimously convicted by a jury at Preston Crown Court and sentenced on Tuesday (January 16):

  • Lee Clarke, 33, Greenall Court, Prescot, Merseyside was found guilty of murder. He was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 27 years. He was also given a nine-year concurrent sentence for drug offences.
  • David Bond, 34, Oaklands Avenue, Liverpool was found guilty of murder. He was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 24 years. He was also jailed for six months concurrent for drug offences.
  • Daniel Cunningham, 34, Tarnbrook Drive, Blackpool was found guilty of manslaughter. He was sentenced to 18 years for this offence and six years concurrent and two years consecutive for drug offences.
  • Darren McCabe, 47, Warwick Road, Blackpool was convicted of manslaughter. He was jailed for 16 years.

Det Chief Insp Andy Fallows, of the Force Major Investigation Team (FMIT) said: "First and foremost my thoughts today are with John Hutchinson's family and friends who lost a loved one in brutal circumstances.

"I welcome these sentences and I hope that they provide some sense that justice has been served."