‘Barbaric’ Durham killer who kills a friend in ‘torture’ attack lasting hours in prison

A barbaric killer who subjected his friend to a nauseating attack with a machete that lasted several hours has been jailed for life.

Robert Askew brutally killed David Teague while getting Chloe Richardson, who he kept trapped in his home, to see his brutality.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Askew subjected Mr Teague to prolonged violence after being convinced he wanted to steal his cannabis plants after a psychotic reaction to taking drugs.

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When Mr. Teague and his partner’s daughter, Chloe, went to Askew’s home in County Durham, he suddenly became ugly after snorting cocaine after taking amphetamines.

Askew, 35, of Wood View, Esh Winning, who already had 119 previous convictions, has now been jailed for life and told to serve a minimum sentence of 24 years after being found guilty of murdering the 33-year-old and false imprisonment and assault on Chloe on Saturday, April 24th.

When convicted, Chloe outlined her horror in a statement about the victim, read to Newcastle Crown Court, where she said she could not get Mr Teague’s shouts and begging for help out of her head.

Chloe said: “He kept me imprisoned for several hours for no apparent reason, and during the time he kept me imprisoned, he basically tortured poor David to death.

“I have a hard time explaining how scary it was.

“My mental health has plummeted and I have had to have professional help. I still have nightmares and flashbacks.

“I can not get David’s cry and plead for help out of my mind when he was murdered.

“I still see it in my sleep.”

She added: “I had a good relationship with David and he treated me like a daughter.

“I still have a hard time processing that he was murdered by Robert for absolutely nothing.

“I think I will come to terms with what I saw Robert do for the rest of my life.”

David William Teague

The court heard that Mr Teague’s mother had spoken of the pain of burying the family’s youngest child, and his brother spoke of his kindness and gentleness and his unwillingness to respond, even though others offered violence.

He said he was a “calm boy” and he feels he will carry a burden because he “was unable to protect him from this horrific death.”

Judging by Askew, Mrs Justice Foster said the evidence from Chloe, who was forced to watch the murder, makes it clear that it was a “prolonged” attack in which he “deliberately humiliated and mocked him”.

She added: “David Teague even offered to cover up your crime by saying he had had a motorcycle accident.

“Finally, he asked you to put an end to him and end his suffering.”

Mrs Justice Foster praised Askew’s friend, Craig Dixon, who came to the scene and tried to save Mr. Teague and called for help.

She also praised Chloe for acting with “balance and dignity” and thanked her for ensuring that justice was done.

The court heard Mr Teague was stabbed repeatedly and sustained up to 60 machete injuries and a knife. He was also beaten, kicked or punched and had multiple areas with bruises and six broken ribs.

It was a combination of his multiple injuries and losing a significant amount of blood that was the cause of his death, the court heard.

Askew became ugly after taking drugs while the pair of victims visited him, believing that Mr. Teague would steal his cannabis plants because he mentioned them.

Askew grabbed Mr. Teague and pushed him on the couch and then armed himself with a long machete and a knife.

Chloe said he drew the curtains too and started “jumping on David and torturing him a bit”.

He said Mr Teague “should be chopped up” and that he had removed a door handle, put Chloe in a chair in the corner, pushed a large table towards her to prevent her from walking and removed the battery from her phone.

He then attacked Mr. Teague with the machete, and initially hit him across the back and stabbed him with it.

Da Mr. Teague was in the corner, Askew constantly beating him with the machete non-stop in what Chloe described as many hours.

She was not able to see much of the attack, but at one point she lifted her head and saw the accused swing the machete and make strong contact with his head and then his legs, and then he kicked him in the face.

When she complained to the defendant, he replied that his plan was not to kick his head off, but to chop it off.

He demanded that she keep an eye on what he was doing, and Mr Teague begged her to call an ambulance.

Eventually, two friends of Askew appeared, including Mr. Dixon, and saw through the window him with blood on his shirt and with weapons in both hands, the court heard.

Mr. Teague sat together in the corner with “blood everywhere behind him”.

The court heard Askew open a window and one of the friends crawled in, and Chloe shouted “let me out” and jumped out the window.

The prosecutor said: “She was screaming and extremely desperate and scared and she ran down the street.”

Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Lawrence of Durham Constabulary said: “This was a truly horrific crime by Robert Askew and his actions will result in David’s family and friend suffering the consequences for the rest of their lives.

“While nothing can change what happened that day, I hope David’s family can take comfort in the fact that Askew has been forced to face his unforgivable actions.

“The judge praised the members of the public who gave first aid and also the victims who testified in court.

“I would also like to thank the investigating officers whose professionalism and perseverance ensured that we were able to put together a strong case that has resulted in Askew spending a significant number of years behind bars.”

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