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Crime Killed

Killer who hit man over head with champagne bottle jailed for life

The attack happened during a row over a mobile phone.

  • Apr 19 2024
  • 120
Killer who hit man over head with champagne bottle jailed for life
Killer who hit man over head with champagne bottle jailed for life

A man who killed someone by hitting them over the head with a magnum-sized champagne bottle has been jailed for life.

Dean Hughes 47, attacked Shane Maloney, 28, during a row over a mobile phone in November 2019, before dumping the ‘barely conscious’ man in an alleyway.

Mr Maloney, who suffered severe brain injuries and was unable to walk or speak and had to be fed through a tube, died 15 months later, in March 2021.

Before his death, Hughes had pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2020.

But when Mr Maloney died of an infection caused by his injuries, prosecutors reopened the case and Hughes was charged with murder.

He pleaded not guilty, claiming he was acting in lawful self-defence, but a jury convicted him after a trial.

He was sentenced to life in prison and must serve at least 11 years and seven months, which takes into account the amount of time he’s already served.

After the attack, Hughes initially tried to blame others including his own girlfriend as ‘being in some way responsible’ for what he had done.

Manchester Crown Court heard he and his victim had never met prior to the attack in Leigh, Greater Manchester.

Hughes, his girlfriend and Mr Maloney’s girlfriend were living at a house in Wigan Road.

The trio were joined by Mr Maloney and they went out into Leigh and bought alcohol, which they drank as they socialised together. 

Hughes also took cocaine, methadone and diazepam.

There had been ‘no issues’ between Hughes and Mr Maloney, but a row flared up over a mobile phone. Hughes had borrowed a phone belonging to Mr Maloney’s girlfriend.

He had made some calls and refused to hand it back until they had been answered. Mr Maloney became ‘angry’ as Hughes continued to refuse to give her phone back.

A physical fight then broke out between them. Judge John Potter said he was ‘prepared to accept’ that Mr Maloney had ‘struck’ Hughes ‘possibly with a beer bottle’, and punched him causing injury.

But the judge said Hughes’ response was ‘disproportionate and clearly unlawful’.

‘You attacked Mr Maloney with brutal ferocity,’ Judge Potter told Hughes.

Mr Maloney fell to the floor and Hughes kicked and punched him as he lay defenceless, the court heard.

The force of the blow ‘shattered’ his skull and was ‘akin to him having been hit by a moving car’, the judge said. The attack lasted a ‘matter of moments’.

‘At the end of it you realised Mr Maloney was barely conscious,’ he continued. 

Hughes then ‘dragged him outside’ and ‘dumped him in an alleyway at the back of the house’.

Mr Maloney’s girlfriend had called the police. As Mr Maloney lay injured, Hughes said: ‘Never underestimate a short-a**e. Payback’s a bi***h.’

‘I am sure from this evidence and other comments made by you at the scene, that the ferocity of your attack upon Mr Maloney was inspired by you feeling slighted by him in his initial actions to you at the start of the incident,’ the judge told Hughes.

‘You decided to extract revenge, and did so for a terrible price.’

Speaking after the sentencing, detective inspector Chris Preston from Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan district said: ‘This is a really sad and upsetting case that has had devastating consequences for those who knew and loved Shane.

‘Hughes actions on that night have rightly been brought to justice and shows that his intentions on that night were cause to serious harm to Shane with no regard to those around him or what he did.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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