Police have welcomed the jailing of a couple who stamped and kicked a vulnerable man to death in his own home.
Lee Chugg and Jodie Swannick left 60-year-old charity volunteer Stephen Fogg with appalling injuries to his skull, face, throat and chest during the attack in Wembury in December 2020.
They were both jailed for life at Exeter Crown Court today by Judge Peter Johnson who set minimum tariffs of 20 for Chugg and 18 years for Swannick.
It means they will not be considered for release by the parole board until that time has elapsed, but they will remain in jail until they are deemed safe.
Mr Fogg was autistic, suffered from learning difficulties, needed regular care visits, and was considered as an eccentric figure in his home village of Wembury, where he kept the Christmas decorations on his bungalow up all year.
He was killed on the night of December 14, 2020, after allowing Chugg and Swannick into his home. They attacked him in his kitchen and left him dying in a pool of his own blood as they fled the scene without calling an ambulance.
After the case, the senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Ilona Rosson said she hoped the guilt verdict and long jail sentences will being comfort to Mr Fogg’s family.
Detective Inspector Rosson, from the Force Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Stephen was described by those who knew him as a kind and generous person who wanted to be friends with all. He was a vulnerable man and trusting of everyone.
“Chugg and Swannick took advantage of his vulnerabilities and on that night subjected him to a prolonged, brutal, and senseless attack.
“In the hours that followed neither demonstrated any remorse for their actions; instead they focused their intentions on distancing themselves from the scene of this horrendous crime, leaving Stephen’s body undiscovered until the days that followed.
“This has been a complex and protracted investigation consisting of a vast amount of material, CCTV and expert evidence which has drawn out lies from both Chugg and Swannick who attempted to blame each other for the events that night and explain away the evidence against them.
“Violence against anyone, especially the most vulnerable in our communities, is abhorrent and Devon and Cornwall Police will always do the utmost to identify and bring offenders to justice.
“I thank and commend all those involved in this investigation - the Major Crime Investigation Team, experts, prosecution team and members of the public who have assisted and provided evidence in this case.
“My deepest condolences go to Stephen’s family and those who knew him. I hope that today’s sentence will bring comfort and closure for them.”
Chugg, aged 42, of Knighton Road, Plymouth, and Swannick, aged 32, formerly of Stoke Road, Plymouth, were found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court earlier this month and sentenced today (fri).