A MAN branded a ruthless and vicious killer by a judge has been jailed for life.
Defendant Stephen Maddocks, 28, who admitted a murder charge, was told he would have to serve a minimum of 18 years before he can apply for parole.
Mr Justice Butterfield, sitting at Mold Crown Court, warned him he could stay behind bars for life and said he would only be released when he was no longer considered to be a risk.
Co-defendant Paul Wright, 26, who admitted a manslaughter charge, was jailed for seven years.
The court heard Anthony Crill, a 35-year-old South African living alone in a flat in Wrexham, was killed when the two
battered the door down.
Both set about him but Maddocks beat him so badly with an aluminium baseball bat he had sufficient injuries to kill him.
When they left, Maddocks got a knife, returned 'to finish him off' and stabbed him.
A hushed court heard how Mr Crill suffered six skull fractures, 10 stab wounds, and other injuries including a broken arm after they acted as 'selfappointed vigilantes' following a neighbour dispute.
The judge said a call to the police would have been appropriate if Wright's sister felt she had a problem with Mr Crill, who lived in the flat above.
The judge said Maddocks, who had
taken a cocktail of alcohol and drugs, was 'spoiling for a fight', took a bat and battered Mr Crill in his own home.
'He might have died from those injuries but you were not prepared to take the chance he might not,' the judge told him.
'You armed yourself with a knife, returning to finish him off.
'That was a brutal, callous and chilling act, demonstrating a ruthless and vicious aspect to your character which marks you out as a very dangerous man.'
Maddocks, who had previous convictions for robbery and GBH, had in the past demonstrated his capacity for using extreme violence, the judge said.
Maddocks, of no fixed abode but who
lived in the Hightown area of Wrexham, showed no emotion as the judge passed sentence and said while he had pleaded guilty, he had lied in the witness box, claiming he was not the knifeman to try and avoid some of the responsibility for what he had done.
The judge told Wright he had got to Mr Crill's home with the intention of a joint attack amounting to ABH. He knew Maddocks was armed with a bat and it was clearly not a spontaneous outburst of violence.
He had participated in the attack but he did phone the ambulance and took no part in the second visit when Maddocks stabbed the victim.