M-Cat killer who left friend to die is jailed for life

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A KILLER who had taken the drug mephedrone, known as M-Cat, and left his friend to bleed to death following a brutal knife attack in a Bradford flat has been jailed for life.

Victim Darryl Longbottom, 22, suffered 20 stab wounds during the fatal attack at his own home in Kenton Way, Holme Wood, last November, but a court heard yesterday he was still able to speak to a friend on the phone and ask him to get help.

A neighbour, who managed to get into the flat via a window, found Mr Longbottom bleeding on the floor but despite his efforts to keep him conscious he stopped moving and speaking and his pulse weakened.

When paramedics arrived on the scene they attempted resuscitation for 20 minutes, but Mr Longbottom died after suffering major blood loss and a collapsed left lung.

Yesterday Bradley Willis, 20, who had been due to start a new job as a chef at the Brasserie at the Bull, Halifax, was given a life sentence for the murder and told he would have to serve a minimum of 14 years before being considered for release.

Bradford Crown Court heard that on the night of the killing, drunken Willis had also taken the controlled drug mephedrone, known as M-Cat, for the first time.

He later said he had drunk 10 bottles of lager, four or five shots of whisky and some peach schnapps.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, told the court how Willis, of Palin Drive, Spalding, Lincolnshire, had borrowed £10 for a taxi from Mr Longbottom and had promised to pay him back out of his first wage from his new job.

But after Mr Longbottom had had a shower in his flat he demanded the money back and a violent argument began.

During the fight Mr Longbottom grabbed a knife and stabbed it into a wall before Willis picked up another knife and ran at him in temper.

Mr Sharp said severe force was used to inflict the multiple stab wounds, which included injuries to the chest, back, left lung and liver.

He said Mr Longbottom remained conscious for some time after the attack ended, but Willis did not summon help.

“Instead he went to the bathroom, tried to wash the blood from his hands and then left, flagging down a taxi and returning to his cousin’s house where he went to sleep,” said Mr Sharp.

When another friend of Mr Longbottom rang him in the early hours he managed to answer the phone saying: “I’ve been stabbed, get help.”

Willis, who had some previous convictions for public order offences, admitted the murder to the police following his arrest later that same day and last month he formally pleaded guilty to the charge on the basis that he had initially acted in self-defence.

In a letter handed to Judge James Goss, QC, Willis expressed remorse for his actions and his barrister Stephen Wood said his guilty plea to murder was a public demonstration of his responsibility.

Mr Wood said Willis would carry that responsibility with him for the rest of his life, but he said his client acknowledged that his pain was nothing compared to that of Mr Longbottom’s family.

Sentencing Willis, Judge Goss said only the defendant knew precisely what happened and why that night.

The judge said Mr Longbottom’s suffering during and after the sustained attack on him was a serious aggravating feature of the case.

Det Supt Sukhbir Singh, senior investigating officer, said: “Willis used excessive violence, inflicting fatal injuries to Darryl Longbottom in a sustained attack.

“He has cut short the life of a young man and in the process destroyed any prospects of his own.”