FIVE teenage boys have been found GUILTY of killing a hero dad, 35, who was beaten to death while trying to protect his girlfriend from the gang.
Danny Humble, from Cramlington, near Newcastle, was murdered when he encountered the youths at an underpass, while walking home with his partner after a night out in May last year.
The dad-of-two was surrounded by the gang of lads who brutally kicked, punched and stamped on him after a short row.
They had shared a joke that Danny looked like the TV presenter Ant McPartlin moments before they beat him up.
When the dad tried to punch one of the group, then aged 16, the others quickly knocked him to the ground.
He was rushed to hospital but his life could not be saved – he tragically passed away from his “catastrophic” head injury the following day.
Seven teens, between the ages of 16 and 17 at the time, were arrested for the vicious attack.
But a year later, only one – ex-soldier Alistair Dickson, 18 – has been found guilty of murder.
Four others – Ethan Scott, Kyros Robinson, Bailey Wilson, all 18, and a 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons – were all found guilty of manslaughter.
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Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Brooks, of Northumbria Police, said in a statement: “This is a truly tragic case in which a father lost his life and our thoughts very much remain with Danny’s heartbroken family and loved ones.
“Danny was a very respected member of the Cramlington community and leaves behind two completely devastated children, a committed partner, loving family and countless friends.
“This has been a complex investigation that has relied on the support of the community to come forward as witnesses and assist with the case – and I would like to thank people for their assistance.
“I also want to thank Danny’s loved ones for their patience, cooperation and the dignity they have shown during the investigation and court proceedings.”
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She added: “So many lives have been destroyed by what happened that night.
“Children have been left without a father and those responsible have caused pain and suffering for their own loved ones and shattered their own chances of a happy future.
“No one wins where violence is concerned and I want to send a clear message to anyone who believes that such actions are acceptable– the consequences are devastating and can rip lives apart.
“As a Force we are fully committed to tackling violent crime and working with partners will continue to play our part in ensuring the region remains one of the safest in the country.”
“BEAUTIFUL, HAPPY AND CONTENTED”
Danny’s death robbed his two sons of a father and has heartbroken his family.
His dad, Vaughan, described his son after the hearing today, saying: “We will never again hear his laughter, witness his love of life or that dazzling six-million-dollar smile.
“He was a beautiful, happy and contented person, loved and respected by all.
“What we will see, in our moments of quiet solitude and in the minutes before we sleep at night and when we wake in the morning, are the dreadful images and scenes of Danny being attacked and, when defenceless, being punched, kicked and stamped to death.
“We will recall the vivid testimonies of the witnesses and their accounts of the noises that they heard on that fateful night.”
Deborah, Danny’s mum, added: “On May 29 2021, my life turned black.
“Danny had dropped his children off, then seven and five years old, for a sleepover. He and his partner were going on their first date since lockdown restrictions had eased.
“Danny and the children were laughing, singing and joking together. They were talking about the plans for the next week – half-term.
“He kissed and hugged us all and gave a wave and left, then jokingly came back for another wave and smile.
“Hours later, police were at the door and my memory just turns to black after that.”