Man faces life term for drunken murder of best friend

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A FATHER faces a life sentence after he was convicted of murdering his best friend following a drunken row.

Ian Farley punched, kicked and stamped on Glenn Russell after he said they exchanged insults about their daughters following an evening’s drinking at Mr Russell’s home.

He also struck his friend at least twice with a ladle while he lay on the floor.

By the time he and another man left the flat in Bayswater Grove, Harehills, Leeds, Mr Russell was bleeding profusely.

His jawbone and both cheekbones were fractured as well as the hyoid bone in his neck and he had suffered brain damage.

Farley, 51, of Parkside Road, Moortown, Leeds was unanimously found guilty by a jury at Leeds Crown Court yesterday of the murder of Mr Russell, 48, on August 30, last year.

He will be sentenced next week by Judge Jennifer Kershaw QC.

The jury heard the two men, who had been friends since childhood, were drinking super-strength lager before the trouble arose.

Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said the attack continued when Mr Russell was clearly no threat. He would have survived for up to a few hours after the attack but an ambulance was not called for him.

Farley told the jury he was not aware how seriously injured Mr Russell was. “We loved each other dearly as friends for a long, long time.”

After the verdict Simon Bourne-Arton QC, representing Farley, said it was a tragedy for both families. Farley still felt disbelief at what had happened and genuine remorse.

Detective Superintendent David Pervin, from West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said after the verdict: “This conviction brings to an end a tragic set of circumstances in which one friend, fuelled by alcohol, savagely beat another one to death.”

“It’s hard to imagine the sequence of events that took place without the contributing factor played by alcohol and this should serve as a warning over the devastating consequences of drinking to excess.

“I can only hope that today’s conviction will bring some comfort and a certain amount of closure to the family and friends of Glenn Russell.”

Mr Russell’s family said in a statement: “Glenn was a much loved son, brother and father, who was taken from us abruptly and in such horrendous circumstances.”

“As a family, we are still struggling to come to terms with our loss.

“We know that no matter what sentence is imposed by the court, this will never replace or compensate us for the huge gap which has been left since Glenn’s passing.”