Prosecutors warned people not to take the law into their own hands following the conviction of two men following the death of an intruder in a Black Country tower block.
Michael Joyce was found guilty of murder and Lee Gannon guilty of the manslaughter of drug addict Alan Harris who was attacked when he was caught breaking into another resident’s flat in Wodensfield Tower, Wednesfield.
Joyce, 19, and Gannon, 25, of Wodensfield Tower, were the only men to be convicted from the group of five, who all denied murder.
The group also included another tower resident Dale Francis, 19, along with Wayne Buchanan, 27, of Rushall Road, and Patrick Summers, 23, of Dudley Road, both Wolverhampton.
Birmingham Crown Court had earlier heard that 37-year-old Mr Harris had burgled the home of Gannon and had tried to exchange items he had taken for drugs.
The prosecution said Mr Harris had been caught "red handed" when he went back to Gannon’s flat and that a group of men, including the defendants, gave him a brutal beating before leaving him in a lift.
Colin Molloy, District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the Black Country, said the case highlighted the law surrounding householders and the use of force against intruders.
He said: "It is accepted that in appropriate circumstance anyone can use ‘reasonable force’ to protect themselves, carry out an arrest or prevent a crime.
"However, in this case the evidence showed that these defendants had clearly decided to take the law into their own hands and punish their victim in a way which eventually resulted in his death.
"Wherever possible, people should call the police and support the prosecution process in the fight against crime."