The two men who killed Jamie McMahon had numerous convictions for violent assaults and were both “prepared to use severe violence” on the night of the attack.
Michael Francis was jailed for 26 years after he denied murdering Jamie McMahon in St Giles Churchyard last October and claimed he had tried to stop the attack.
Earlier in the trial, which finished on July 10, Jonas Harkin, defending Francis, said Lewis was the only one proven to have kicked and stamped on Mr McMahon and that Francis later co-operated in concealing the evidence because he was “scared” of Lewis.
But Judge Mayo said it was “inconceivable” Francis was “in awe or fear of Lewis” and did not reduce life sentence.
He believed Francis, who has mental health problems following an accident some years ago, may have become directly involved in the attack after the prosecution revealed he had a history of robbery and battery charges.
Lewis, who was 19 at the time of the attack, was given a 10 per cent reduction in his sentence because of his guilty plea. Judge Mayo also took into account a psychologist’s report which said he was likely to respond disproportionately to confrontation.
Amjad Malis, mitigating for Lewis, said his client had “exploded into violence” which was linked to suffering a childhood of abuse at the hands of his grandmother, who was his main carer after his father committed suicide.
He also said that Lewis had been involved in two previous violent robberies.
Mr Harkin said that, on the night of the attack, Mr McMahon was chosen for robbery because “he was unlikely to offer violence. He was alone and he was eating”.
But Mrs Coen said that both defendants were prepared to use severe violence if they met resistance.