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Guilty of murdering North Yorkshire Man

Guilty of murdering North Yorkshire Man

1:51pm 27th October 2010
(Updated 2:22pm 28th October 2010)

Scarborough murder accused found guilty and sentenced to 17 years in prison

A man has today (27 October 2010) been found guilty and sentenced to 17 years in prison for a brutal murder that took place in Scarborough.

Ricky Gelardo, 29, of the town’s Lismore Road but originally from Darlington, was convicted for the murder of Alan Atkin following a two-and-a-half-week trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Mr Atkin, 62, was found dead in his flat on Swan Hill Road by two female friends at 3.15pm on Wednesday 21 April 2010.

He had suffered severe injuries to his head, face and body. A post mortem revealed the cause of death was from the head injuries.

A North Yorkshire Police murder investigation was launched which led to Gelardo being arrested at his home in Scarborough on Sunday 25 April. He was charged with murder on Monday 26 April.

Mr Atkin, who used a wheelchair to get about, was a well-known figure in Scarborough as he regularly socialised in the town centre area.

He is divorced and has grown-up children who live in West Yorkshire.

The North Yorkshire Police investigation team, led by Detective Chief Inspector Alan Carey, received a Judge's Commendation at the conclusion of the trial today.

Statement from Detective Chief Inspector Alan Carey, the senior investigating officer, North Yorkshire Police:

“Ricky Gelardo carried out a brutal and sustained attack on Alan Atkin which caused his death.

“It is very hard to comprehend how anyone could inflict such violence on another person, let alone on a defenceless, wheelchair-bound man.

“Gelardo had only met his victim in the early hours of Friday 16 April when he visited Mr Atkin's home with a female friend, having been out drinking all evening.  For no apparent reason, Gelardo appears to have taken exception to something Mr Atkin said and subjected him to a violent and sustained attack, before leaving Mr Atkin to die on his living room floor.

“While I am very satisfied that Gelardo now has to face up to the consequences of his actions behind bars, my thoughts are with Mr Atkin’s loved ones and friends who have had to cope with the trauma of the past six months.

“I just hope they can find a small measure of comfort in the outcome of the police investigation and trial.”

Family statement:

Lana and Karl Atkin, Mr Atkin’s children, said: “We are very happy and relieved that our father’s killer has been brought to justice. The way his life was taken away was horrific and we just hope he can now rest in peace.

“We would like to thank North Yorkshire Police and the legal team involved in the successful prosecution. Everybody involved in the case worked tirelessly to secure the murder conviction and we are truly grateful for the support they have given to us throughout.”

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