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7 August 2017, 14:26
A man has been sentenced to life in prison for beating a stranger to death with a wine bottle at a North Tyneside guesthouse.
In the early hours of 17 March 2017, Tony Dodds, aged 25, broke into the property in Whitley Bay.
After attempting to enter the rooms of other tenants in the guest house on North Parade, Dodds of Hillheads Road in Whitley Bay was able to enter the room of 39 year old Matthew Davis.
A vicious assault then took place in which vulnerable Mr Davis was kicked, punched and repeatedly struck over the head with a wine bottle.
Matthew's body was found two days later and he was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
Dodds was charged with murder and has pleaded guilty to causing Mr Davis' death.
Following the sentencing, senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Shelley Hudson said:
"I know that this will have been an extremely difficult six months for the family of Matthew Davis and that they have been dignified given the circumstances."
"This was a truly cowardly attack on a vulnerable man who was beaten to death."
"All of the evidence would suggest that he was attacked in his sleep; he had no defensive wounds and there was nothing to suggest a struggle took place."
"What's more it appears that Matthew's murder was without motive or reason."
"The defendant showed little remorse for his actions, and after the attack had unashamedly tried to enter the kitchen of the guest house to cook himself some food before leaving the building."
"While we may never know why Dodds killed Matthew, at least today he will face the consequences of his actions."
Matthew's family have paid tribute to him, saying:
"On March 14 our family's life was turned upside down. Matty's life was tragically cut short by an evil individual who has no remorse for his actions."
"As a family we are devastated and there is a hole within our family that will never go away."
"As a family we would now like to grieve and try to get on with our lives as best we can."