Four men, including a man from Bestwood, have been found guilty of killing a hard-working family man in his own home while robbing him of his life savings.
A fifth man has also been found guilty of helping them try to cover up their crime.
Tony Fisher, 58, was found dead at his home in Coningswath Road, Carlton, on January 9, 2016, after being tortured and suffering multiple stab wounds.
The court heard Marcus Barton, his son Jaydon Roberts-Barton, another relative Nathan Barton and Simon Palmer had hatched a plan to rob Mr Fisher after finding out that he kept his money at home. They carried out the robbery on the evening of January 8, 2016, subjecting Mr Fisher to a sustained and brutal assault designed to force him to reveal the whereabouts of his two safes and the access code for one of them.
Despite cooperating, the men beat and stabbed Mr Fisher and left him to bleed to death. The four men fled with between £10,000 to £14,000 in cash and other valuable items including jewellery.
Mr Fisher’s body was discovered the next day by his family, the court heard.
The jury was told Jaydon Roberts-Barton and Nathan Barton met a fifth man, Vincent Hawkins, about an hour after the murder and he took their clothes in a plastic bag to burn in a park in Carlton Hill.
Simon Palmer, formerly known as Simon Blake, 43, of Edwin Street, Daybrook, Marcus Barton, 42, of Raymede Drive, Bestwood, Nathan Barton, 23, of Heathfield Avenue, Basford, and Jaydon Roberts-Barton, 21, of Curzon Gardens, St Ann’s, were each charged with murder and conspiracy to rob. They denied the offences.
Vincent Hawkins, 33, of Handel Street, Sneinton, was charged with assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice, which he denied.
After a seven-week trial at Nottingham Crown Court, the jury found Marcus Barton and Simon Palmer guilty of murder and conspiracy to rob. Nathan Barton and Jaydon Roberts-Barton were found not guilty of murder but guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter as well as conspiracy to rob.
And Vincent Hawkins was found not guilty of assisting an offender but guilty of perverting the course of justice.
All of the verdicts were unanimous. They will be sentenced later today (Monday, May 22).
Speaking after the conviction, Mr Fisher’s wife Elaine and son Andrew Fisher issued a statement on behalf of the Fisher family.
They said: “On the morning of Saturday, January 9, 2016 our lives changed forever when my son Andrew and I found the body of my husband Tony, Andrew’s Dad.
“It was immediately apparent on seeing the lifeless body of my husband that Tony had suffered a violent death. It was all your worst nightmares and an image that can never leave my mind.
“Over the days and months that followed we have learnt through the investigation that Tony had suffered a sustained and brutal attack - that he was tortured. To know his last moments on this earth were filled with fear and pain has been something all of Tony’s family have struggled to both comprehend and cope with.
“We wish to make it very clear Tony did not know the men who broke into our home and killed him. He had no association with them whatsoever. He was targeted because they ‘got wind’ that Tony kept his life savings in the house.
“Tony was a local Carlton man. He was one of nine siblings. Everyone locally will know the Fisher family. Everyone locally will also know Tony was a decent, hard-working man.
“He spent 27 years of his working life at Duncan Macmillian House as a maintenance man. Every penny Tony earned was through his own hard graft. He was one of life’s savers not a spender.
“As a family we have struggled over the last 18 months to comprehend the level of violence and brutality that was inflicted on Tony. We know he cooperated with the men that broke into the house. They didn’t need to terrorise or kill him.
“As a family we have attended every day of the trial. Listening to the evidence unfold has at times been frankly too much to bear. However, it was something we needed to do for Tony. He was robbed of his life and his voice. As a family we have been united and resolute in seeking justice for him.
“No sentence can ever bring Tony back to us. However, the fact that Marcus Barton, Simon Palmer, Nathan Barton, Jaydon Roberts-Barton and Vincent Hawkins have been found guilty has given us the justice for Tony that we have sought. We have some peace knowing that society has now been protected from these violent individuals. They are callous, heartless, cowards - the very worst of mankind and there is no place in our community for them.”
Detective Chief Inspector, Hayley Williams, who led the investigation, also described Mr Fisher as “a decent, hard-working family man.”
She said: “Simon Palmer, Marcus Barton, Nathan Barton and Jaydon Roberts Barton - a local criminal group - found out he kept his hard-earned life savings at home and hatched a plan to steal the money. They went ‘mob handed’ because they needed Tony to tell them where the safe was and how to access it and all agreed to use violence if necessary to get this information.
“The evidence showed that the injuries to Tony amounted to torture. The next door neighbours heard a commotion lasting up to 20 minutes which shows Tony’s ordeal was prolonged.
“What makes this crime even more horrific is that the group did not have to kill Tony to steal the money. A short audio recording of part of the attack appeared to show the Tony was cooperating with their requests to give the combination for the safe but this was not enough for the criminals and they beat and stabbed Tony to death and then took his money, leaving him for dead.”