Two drug addicts who clubbed and stabbed a 76-year-old man to death after breaking into his home to search for cash were convicted of his murder yesterday.
Graham Ellis (23) and John McAfee (22) both broke down and sobbed in the dock at Wolverhampton Crown Court after being told they faced mandatory life sentences for the "horrific" crime.
Their victim, Ben Jones, was savagely beaten and then stabbed 13 times before his flat was set ablaze by the defendants, who blamed each other for the killing.
Mr Jones, who had concealed more than £20,000 in cash inside an organ at his flat in Fereday Street, Tipton, West Midlands, was found dead by fire crews in April
The jury took just under ten hours to unanimously convict Ellis and McAfee, who were both desperate for money to fund their addictions to crack cocaine and heroin.
Ellis, of Hickman Road, Tipton, and McAfee, of Fereday Street, had both denied a single count of murder.
Mrs Justice Dobbs, who adjourned the case to allow psychiatric reports to be prepared on Ellis, will sentence the two men in London in November.
Speaking after the fiveweek trial, Detective Chief Inspector Adrian Atherley, said he believed the defendants had heard a rumour that Mr Jones had a substantial sum of cash hidden in his home.
The officer said: "It's been a tough case - it's the murder of a 76-year-old man - and there is no cause for celebration.
"It's just good to see that justice has been done." Referring to Ellis and McAfee, he added: "There has never been any remorse displayed. The murder was absolutely horrific.
"Ben Jones was very badly beaten before being stabbed in an extremely brutal attack on an elderly man." The detective said the fire started by the killers to cover their tracks had almost spread into a flat on the floor above, threatening the lives of a young couple and their baby.
"It could have been even worse," he said. "The family upstairs had a young baby which woke them at 6.20am and they found smoke coming through the floor. It was lucky that no-one else was killed."