Two men have been found guilty of murder and two others of manslaughter after carrying out a revenge attack following a drugs dispute.

Daniel Cunningham from Blackpool along with Lee Clarke and David Bond from Merseyside attacked John Hutchinson with a hammer and stamped on his head at his friend’s home in the seaside resort on April 10.

Darren McCabe, 47 from Blackpool, provided Mr Hutchinson’s location to the other men.

In the early hours of April 10 Mr Hutchinson, along with three acquaintances attended the home of Cunningham in Blackpool armed with a hammer and left with a significant quantity of drugs.

When Cunningham contacted the police to report an attempted burglary, he claimed money had been demanded from his family, and told them he did not recognise any of the men.

Less than an hour later though, Cunningham, 33, started putting in motion a plan to retrieve the stolen drugs.

He messaged Clarke, 33, identifying John Hutchinson as one of the armed robbers and tasked McCabe with tracking down Hutchinson and the drugs.

Clarke and Bond, 33, travelled from Merseyside to Blackpool to collect Cunningham and McCabe and go to exact revenge and retrieve the drugs.

Shortly before 7pm that day a neighbour of the address where Mr Hutchinson, 44, was staying contacted the police to report three men (Cunningham, Clarke and Bond) breaking into the property.

Meanwhile, McCabe was waiting in the car outside having taken them to the address where Mr Hutchinson was.

McCabe was later seen counting cash at the New Road Inn pub - his payment for locating Mr Hutchinson and the drugs.

When police arrived, they found Mr Hutchinson with serious injuries having been attacked with a hammer and having had his head stamped on.

He refused to co-operate with officers but by 8.40pm Mr Hutchinson had collapsed and was in cardiac arrest.

He died in hospital a short time later. The cause of death was injury to his spleen and head, sustained during the attack.

Over the following days, Cunningham, Clarke, Bond and McCabe were identified as the perpetrators and arrested in their respective home towns.

Today (November 16), Lee Clarke, of Greenall Court in Prescot, and David Bond, of Oaklands Avenue, Netherton, were found guilty of murder.

Daniel Cunningham, of Tarnbrook Drive in Blackpool, and Darren McCabe, of Warwick Road in Blackpool, were found guilty of manslaughter.

They will be sentenced in January 2024.

Joanna White, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: “This case is an example of the dangerous world of drug dealing.

"Daniel Cunningham, Lee Clarke and David Bond were prepared to go to any lengths, including taking someone’s life, to retrieve drugs which had been stolen from their drugs empire.

“They carried out a brutal tit for tat revenge attack which ultimately led to the death of a man.

"Though Darren McCabe was not part of the physical attack, he had played a significant role in the attack by tracking down Mr Hutchinson and the drugs and accepting a large amount of cash for that service.

“During the trial we proved each man’s involvement with telephone evidence showing the planning of the attack and the acknowledgment of what they had done after they found out Mr Hutchinson had died.

"After careful consideration of that evidence the jury found them guilty of murder and manslaughter.

“The CPS is committed to working with police to disrupt the activities of drug gangs and bring them to justice. Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the death of Mr Hutchinson.”