FOUR men have been jailed following the murder of a man during a robbery in North Yorkshire Jonathan Charles Binns, 41, was stabbed during a robbery at a friend’s flat in Eastborough, Scarborough, on August 7 last year, after four men forced their way inside.

Kevin John Pickering, 29, David White, 34, James Cousins, 31, and Nicholas Polihronos, 31, all from Scarborough, were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court yesterday following a trial.

Detective Superintendent Dai Malyn, who led the investigation, said: “Jonathan Binns was a peaceful man, who lived and worked in the community, and who was simply enjoying a social night in with a friend.

“Mr Binns was subjected to a vicious and unprovoked assault where he was stabbed twice. Despite desperate first aid attempts, he died tragically at the scene.

“This was a difficult case to investigate, which I am pleased was acknowledged by the judge.”

Pickering was convicted of murder, and sentenced to life, with a minimum of 23 years’ imprisonment.

White was sentenced to 13 years for manslaughter. Cousins and Polihronos were also found guilty of manslaughter and jailed for 12 years each.

All four were convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and received sentences of ten years to run concurrently.

White received an additional four months for drug offences.

Julie Anderson, Mr Binns’ sister called the murder a “cowardly, unprovoked attack, carried out in a way that was cruel, wicked and so totally unnecessary”.

She said: “Johnny was a peaceful, non-violent person who showed no violence towards his attackers, he was simply brave enough to resist the attempts to steal what was rightfully his.

“We will never come to terms with what has happened.

“Johnny came from a large and loving family and we will carry the burden of Johnny’s loss forever.

“The last time we saw Johnny was at a family wedding and now we will never get to experience any of those happy times ever again with him.”