Man beat neighbour to death with bag full of Pokemon cards

Andrew Hague has been sentenced to life in prison for murder, with a minimum of 17 years

Joe Middleton
Thursday 11 May 2023 07:14 BST
Andrew Hague, 31, (pictured) murdered Simon Wilkinson, 50, in a “brutal” attack
Andrew Hague, 31, (pictured) murdered Simon Wilkinson, 50, in a “brutal” attack (South Yorkshire Police)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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A man who beat his neighbour to death with a bag of Pokemon cards and a plank because he was angry about being called a “n***** b*****d” has been jailed for life.

Andrew Hague, 31, murdered Simon Wilkinson, 50, in a “brutal” attack with a bag containing metal tins of the trading cards, and a number of other weapons, including a wooden plank.

The 31-year-old also punched and kicked Mr Wilkinson in the assault outside his flat on Fox Hill Road, Sheffield, on August 2.

Hague pleaded guilty to the murder of his neighbour. He appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday and was given a life sentence, with a minimum of 17 years.

Judge Sarah Wright said: “This was an unremitting and merciless attack upon a neighbour of yours where you took the decision during the savage assault to kill him.”

Simon Wikinson was pronounced dead at the scene after the “brutal” assault from his neighbour
Simon Wikinson was pronounced dead at the scene after the “brutal” assault from his neighbour (South Yorkshire Police)

Prosecutor Laura Marshall said Hague and Mr Wilkinson been involved in a verbal altercation with each other, during which Simon reportedly called Hague a “n**** b*****d”.

After telling Mr Wilkinson to “come out here and fight like a man,” Hague attacked him with a bag containing four or five tins of Pokemon cards, she said.

Witnesses described seeing Hague repeatedly swinging the bag “like a cricketer,” leaving the victim bloodied and lifeless on the ground, Ms Marshall told the court.

Hague then repeatedly punched and stamped on the victim before retrieving a bat or a plank of wood and hitting him “numerous times,” the court heard.

Several neighbours who witnessed the prolonged attack made emergency calls to 999, and armed police and paramedics both arrived at the scene at 8.31pm.

Mr Wilkinson was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem examination showed he died as a result of head and facial injuries from repeated severe blows.

Police body-cam footage showed Hague retreated to his ground-floor flat and put several layers of clothing on as armed officers negotiated with him.

He subsequently agreed to be handcuffed and arrested, leaving his flat via a window.

Hague suffered from a psychotic illness, most likely schizophrenia, and a personality disorder, and had stopped taking his medication before the killing, the court heard.

His barrister, Andrew Vout KC, said his illness fell short of offering him a defence of diminished responsibility or insanity, but it was a “significant factor” in the killing.

He said: “He’s made choices, but he’s made them through a distorted prism.”

In a statement read to the court, the victim’s mother Eileen said: “I cannot describe the pain and heartbreak we feel, which is unbearable at times, caused by a barbaric, brutal and evil attack of violence.

“Simon was loved by friends and family for his sense of humour, kindness and friendship.”

Judge Wright recommended Hague be re-admitted to Rampton high-security psychiatric hospital, where the court heard he had been responding well to treatment.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector John Fitzgibbons, from South Yorkshire Police, said: “No sentence passed can ease the grief and pain that Mr Wilkinson’s family and friends have faced daily since he was murdered, but I hope that with the conclusion of our investigation and legal proceedings today they feel that they now have some justice for their loved one.

“My thoughts are with them again today after what will have been another difficult day.

“Hague admitted murder and accepted responsibility for his senseless and brutal actions, which has devastated those who knew and loved Mr Wilkinson.”

Additional reporting by SWNS

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