A JUDGE praised the “enormous courage” of the widow of acid attack victim Barry Selby as he jailed his killers for a total of 126 years.
Mr Justice Globe described the murder of the 50-year-old devoted family man as “sheer horror.” The crime was “vicious, cowardly” and “beneath contempt.”
Dad-of-three Mr Selby was shot in the leg and had sulphuric acid poured over him after intruders smashed their way into his home, broke his bedroom door off its hinges and overpowered him as his wife Donna hid in terror behind their bed.
He suffered 50 per cent acid burns and died in hospital four days later.
Mr Justice Globe said the pain and suffering of Mr Selby during the four days he remained alive must have been considerable.
He said victim impact statements from his wife and two daughters described the sheer horror of what happened and the pain and anguish they would have to live with.
Lee Calvert, 23, of Stirling Crescent, Holme Wood; Joseph Lowther, 22, of Copgrove Road, Holme Wood; Robert Woodhead, 28, of Fred’s Place, Tyersal; and Andrew Feather, 23, of Heysham Drive, Holme Wood; were all convicted of murder after a six-week trial at Bradford Crown Court and were yesterday jailed for life.
Calvert, who the judge said had shot Mr Selby and thrown the acid over him, will have to serve a minimum of 36 years behind bars before he can even be considered for release by the Parole Board.
Woodhead and Lowther, who were at the house, will serve a minimum of 32 years, while Feather, the getaway driver, must serve at least 26 years.
Calvert, Woodhead and Lowther were convicted of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life after shots were fired into a house where children were present, in Farway, Holme Wood, four hours before the murder of Mr Selby. Feather was cleared of that charge on the direction of the judge.
The judge said that shooting had been indiscriminate and mindless.
The two incidents followed a series of violent incidents, over 18 months, involving two groups of men on the Holme Wood estate. Calvert was part of one group and Mr Selby’s son Liam was in the other. On one occasion Calvert and others attacked Liam Selby with lump hammers. None of the incidents were reported to police. Lowther, Woodhead and Feather were friends of Calvert, but were not part of the group.
Mr Justice Globe said friends, associates and family members who were not involved, but knew what was going on, either had a misguided sense of loyalty or were too fearful to speak out.
The judge said there was nothing from Liam Selby to indicate any understanding of the part “his mindless violence has had to play in wrecking the lives of other members of his family and in contributing to the ultimate death of his father.”
Mr Justice Globe said the attack on Barry Selby was ruthless and efficient, and not a word was spoken by his attackers.
But though the intruders were wearing balaclavas and dark clothing, Mrs Selby recognised Calvert by his eyes, which she described as evil. The judge said Calvert had been surprised Mrs Selby had the “enormous courage” to say she could identify him.