A JUDGE has slammed two friends who murdered a drinking pal and left him for dead on Blackpool beach.
The two men behind the horrific beating were yesterday jailed for life after they were found guilty of murder following a fortnight-long trial.
Paul Thompson and Colin Dugdale were convicted of murdering friend Leslie Bertram, of Lytham Road, South Shore, and abandoning his body on the sands.
The pair, who had both been trusted companions of Mr Bertram’s, attacked the 44-year-old after as they walked along the beach in June, following a drinking session at a resort flat.
Mr Bertram’s body was discovered, half-buried in the sand, between Central and South piers the following day.
A friend of Mr Bertram’s revealed how stunned they were to discover Thompson had murdered Mr Bertram in cold blood.
Gina Bailey, 43, whose 21-year-old daughter Roseanna Cooper was tragically killed in a car crash in June last year, said she had been friends with both men before the incident.
She added: “I met Leslie Bertram at a party and he always seemed a very nice guy. I knew Paul Thompson as well and I was shocked by what happened.”
Yesterday, judge Mr Justice Singh said the pair had inflicted horrific injuries on Mr Bertram before leaving him to his “awful fate”.
And he said “jealously” appeared to have driven Thompson, 44, and Dugdale, 27, to commit the horrific crime in a row over a girlfriend.
Mr Justice Singh added: “Leslie Bertram was murdered by you and left to meet his fate, lying in a pool of water and on the sand on Blackpool beach.
“You Colin Dugdale originated the attack and you Paul Thompson were only too willing to join in.
“It would appear, so far as one can see any motive for this murder, that both of you were jealous in different ways of Leslie Bertram because of his continuing relationship.”
Thompson had dated the woman in the past, while Dugdale, of Chesterfield Road, North Shore, was described in court as having been attracted to her, and wanted her for himself.
During the attack Mr Bertram sustained head and neck injuries before Thompson and Dugdale fled.
He was already dead by the time Thompson, of Woodfield Road, Blackpool, returned the following morning, June 16, and called the police.
Both have now been jailed for life, and must serve a minimum of 14 years.