Pair guilty of Jimmy Prout murder after forcing him to eat own testicle
Two people have been found guilty of murdering a vulnerable man who was tortured for months and forced to eat his own testicle.
Jimmy Prout, 45, was found dead on wasteland near his home in North Shields on 27 March 2016.
The jury heard he was tortured by a group he thought of as friends who subjected him to months of abuse.
Anne Corbett, 26, and Zahid Zaman, 43, both from Percy Main, were found guilty of murder at Newcastle Crown Court.
Myra Wood, 45, and Kay Rayworth, 56, were cleared of murder but have been convicted of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.
During the seven-week trial, the court heard Mr Prout died on 9 February 2016, and his decaying body had been partly eaten by animals on the wasteland.
All four defendants, who previously pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, will be sentenced on 27 June.
The court was told the group of five, including Mr Prout, had a strange relationship which had developed an almost "cultish dimension".
They heard that a series of events in late 2015 created tensions that led to a number of serious assaults against Mr Prout, which included him having his teeth knocked out with a hammer and chisel.
Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, said: "In effect, over a period of time, Jimmy Prout was not just mistreated, he was tortured.
"In the end, this conduct was to cause the death of Jimmy Prout."
After Mr Prout's body had been dumped, the court was told the group then set about covering their tracks by pretending to look for him and asking others to help.
Zaman, who uses a wheelchair and was the leader of the group, was described as vengeful and controlling and was determined to get his own back after he thought Mr Prout had been involved in a theft against him.
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