Violent thug jailed after attempting to kill his friend in 'horrendous' attack
26 Aug 2018 08:30 AM[View Full Size]
A violent thug who tried to kill his friend before setting his house on fire and leaving him for dead has been jailed for life.
Steve Clark, 36, was convicted of attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life after leaving 44-year-old Lee Bone for dead at an address on Wigmore Avenue in Walker on July 22, 2017.
Clark was with Lee at the victim’s home in the east end when a fight broke out in the address. Clark then brutally assaulted his friend before setting his house on fire – leaving his battered victim there to burn alive.
On Friday (August 24), a judge jailed Clark for life with a minimum of 13 years after a jury found him guilty following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court back in March.
Two passer-bys noticed smoke coming from the property and rushed inside before dragging Lee to safety.
He was taken to hospital by paramedics with injuries consistent with blunt force trauma and even bite marks.
Doctors were able to resuscitate him before he was immediately taken into surgery in order for fragments of bone to be removed from his brain.
More than a year after the attack, Lee remains in a nursing home with injuries that are described as life-changing and were so serious he was unable to give evidence in court.
“This was a brutal and savage attack that has changed Lee Bone’s life forever,” said senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Paul Woods following today’s sentencing.
“It was a truly horrendous crime which has devastated the victim and his family. They have shown incredible bravery and courage throughout this difficult case.
“There can be no doubt that the community is a safer place with Steve Clark behind bars. He brutally assaulted somebody he knew, left him to die in his own home and then attempted to destroy any evidence of his crimes by setting the place on fire.
“It was only the heroic actions of the victim’s neighbours that prevented Clark from succeeding with this sadistic plan.
“My team have worked tirelessly to gather witness accounts, carry out forensics and establish a timeline of events to ensure Clark is brought to justice for his crimes, and the fact Clark today begins a long stretch behind bars is testament to their hard work.”