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Gary Dean was found dead near Barnsley after long-running feud with Dawson family
A mother and son who murdered a man after pursuing a vendetta against him over his use of a footpath crossing their land have been handed life jail terms.
Gary Deans body was found in a ditch in woods near his home in Barnsley after he had been shot in the back with an air rifle and beaten with rocks and branches.
The 48-year-old was killed by Scott Dawson, 41, and Carol Dawson, 72, after regularly using their land for running and other activities, prompting a lengthy feud, prosecutors said.
A jury heard how, as part of the disagreement, Deans home was daubed with offensive graffiti and he was falsely accused of attempting to lure children into the woods.
After carrying out the murder last September, the Dawsons intended to dispose of his body using a digger but were prevented from doing so after his remains were discovered by a walker, a court heard.
After a five-week trial at Sheffield crown court, they were convicted of murder. On Monday, Scott Dawson was jailed for life with a minimum of 31 years; Carol Dawson was jailed for life with a minimum of 26 years.
Sentencing the Dawsons, the judge, Jeremy Richardson QC , said: You both fed off the venom within each other. This toxic mixture led to murder. He said the pair had carried out the killing in a wicked and cruel fashion.
Richardson said the murder had been made worse by the fact that Deans autism made him a vulnerable target.