TWO men accused of murdering a Brockholes father knew ‘exactly what they were doing’ when they beat him to death, a court heard yesterday.

Accused Christopher Burton and Douglas Stephen launched ‘a determined and relentless attack’ which killed John Collins, prosecutor Tom Bayliss QC told a jury yesterday.

Mr Collins, 55, died from massive head injuries caused in the attack outside his home on Oakes Avenue, last July.

Burton and Stephen, both 29, from Oakes Avenue, admit Mr Collins’ manslaughter but deny his murder.

In his closing speech Mr Bayliss said the pair’s intent on doing Mr Collins serious harm was clear from what was said after the attack.

A person is guilty of murder if they kill a person without the intention of killing but with the intention of causing serious harm.

Mr Bayliss added while the pair were drunk, being intoxicated was no defence for carrying out the violent attack.

He said: “All these things indicate they both knew exactly what they were doing.

“John Collins was a perfectly pleasant man in his mid-50s who was minding his own business when these two men turned on him.

“This was a determined and relentless attack.

“The defence is two men searching for an explanation. They know perfectly well what was going on.”

Mr Bayliss concluded: “The two men drew strength by the fact they outnumbered John Collins and their actions were going to cause serious injury.

“Both took part. Both were involved and are guilty of his murder.”

Defending Burton, John Elvidge QC said while the attack was ‘disgraceful’ his client did not have the ‘necessary intent’ to be guilty of murder.

While involved in the joint attack, Burton did not know of Stephen’s intention to cause Mr Collins serious harm, said Mr Elvidge.

Mr Elvidge said: “He didn’t, in fact, have the necessary intent to be guilty of murder on the basis that he himself intended to cause really serious injury to Mr Collins.

“He has doggedly denied intending to cause serious harm to Mr Collins or knowing that Mr Stephen had such intent.”