Maida Vale drug addict loses appeal against life sentence for torturing Kilburn man

David Donegan was jailed for life

David Donegan was jailed for life - Credit: Archant

A drug addict who was jailed for life for torturing a fellow user from Kilburn with wires, a hammer and a carpet cutter today lost an appeal against his sentence.

David Donegan, 49, of Shirland Road, Maida Vale, attacked Richard Finnegan after taking over his flat in Carlton Vale.

He put a claw hammer to his friend’s head, pulled out a tooth and assaulted him, breaking his nose.

On another occasion, he pushed objects, including wires, tape, cords and shoes, into or against Mr Finnegan’s mouth to stop him breathing, deprived him of food, bit his nose and wrapped sheets and towels over his face.

Donegan admitted wounding with intent to cause GBH, making threats to kill, false imprisonment, two assaults and possessing cocaine.

Last May, he was jailed for life at Southwark Crown Court.

He appealed to the Court of Appeal last November, but today saw the life sentence upheld by the country’s top judge, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas.

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The court heard Donegan tortured Mr Finnegan claiming he was toughening him up to be his foot soldier.

Donegan already had a long list of convictions to his name, including a serious assault while living in Ireland.

His barrister, Julia Smart, argued on appeal that the offences did not justify a life term as his drug addiction lay at the root of his offending and, since he had now spent all of a six-figure compensation payout he received years ago, he would not now so easily get his hands on drugs.

Giving judgment, Lord Thomas said: “This was a horrible, prolonged, premeditated and cruel attack upon Mr Finnegan which has had very long-lasting consequences.

“A life sentence was inevitable.”