Life in prison for thug who murdered partner in St Helens

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A vile killer has been put behind bars for life for the brutal murder of his partner in St Helens.


Adam Brettle will serve at least 19 years in jail after admitting killing Samantha Gosney at Liverpool Crown Court.

Adam Brettle

Adam Brettle

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Officers were called to a house on Swan Avenue in the Derbyshire Hill area of St Helens at 11.40am on Saturday November 24 last year to a report of an assault at the address.

When officers arrived they found 29-year-old mother-of-two Ms Gosney, from Warrington, had been stabbed multiple times.

She was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

Samantha Gosney

Samantha Gosney

Brettle, who is 24 and of no fixed address, was traced to St Asaph in North Wales where he was arrested two days after Ms Gosney's body was found.

He will now have to serve almost two decades in prison before he can even be considered eligible for parole.

Detective Sergeant Lisa Milligan from Merseyside Police said: “This was a shocking and heart-breaking incident, in which a young mother has had her life taken away by an act of brutal violence, carried out by Adam Brettle.

"His actions have also left two young boys to grow up without a mother.

“Our investigations found Brettle to be a violent, jealous and controlling man who consistently refused to take responsibility for his actions that night.

“He only chose to admit his guilt at the last possible opportunity, dragging out the suffering of Samantha’s loved ones in the process.

“I would like to thank Samantha’s family for the immense courage they have shown throughout this ordeal and also the professionalism of the officers involved in this investigation.

“Although nothing could ever bring Samantha back, we hope the sentence handed down by the judge gives her family some kind of closure, and ensure Brettle will be off the streets – where he belongs - for a significant length of time."

In a heartbreaking victim personal statement Ms Gosney's mum Joan said: “The afternoon of Saturday 24th November 2018 will be forever fixed in my mind when the poor police woman had to stand in my lounge at home and tell me that my gorgeous Samantha was dead.

"The look on her face is something that I will never forget. My world fell apart there and then.

“Samantha was a gorgeous, bubbly girl always full of beans and so loveable and to think that I will never see her again is so very hard indeed.

“I have become a different person since she has gone. I walk around talking to people, taking Samantha’s children to school, people asking if I am okay, offering their condolences for my loss and I nod and say thank you.

“As a family we are okay and coping best we can, but inside I’m walking around in a daze, my head cannot function, I forget what I was saying and my heart feels that someone is ripping it out of my chest.

“I cannot describe the hurt I feel as a mother who has lost their most precious baby. I don’t sleep at night, thinking what I could have done different. I cannot listen to my favourite music because it makes me cry all of the time.

“Samantha’s poor little boys have lost their beautiful mother whom they adored. [One of the boys] wakes up in the night asking why his mummy has been taken away. He asks why his mummy cannot be fixed so she can come back alive.

“My poor husband cannot even look at the pictures as it hurts so much and seeing him cry breaks my heart.

“We are a very close family who are devastated and hurt by the loss of Samantha, as she was loved so much.

“Samantha has been a big loss to so many people, the friends she had was so vast and they message me daily to express how sad they all are as they loved and miss her so much.

“I will hurt everyday forever. Our lives have been truly ripped apart and if I could swap places with her I would do it in a flash.”

Following the sentencing a senior Merseyside Police officer said: "“I want to reassure members of the public that Merseyside Police is committed to tackling domestic abuse in all its forms and we have dedicated and specially trained officers who respond to incidents of domestic abuse, investigate incidents and provide support to those in need.

“Domestic abuse can happen to anyone at any time regardless of gender, age and sexuality. It is important for people to recognise when it is happening to them and that confidential support and advice is available to those that need it.

“We also appeal to anyone who is aware or suspects that a friend, family member or neighbour is the victim of domestic abuse to contact police at the earliest opportunity.

“Abuse is abuse, whether it happens behind closed doors or in public, and we should all do what we can to protect victims.

“Some people might think it is none of their business just because the victim and offender know each other – but it is everyone’s business to help people in need, and one phone call to police could well save a life.”

For more information about how to report domestic violence or to seek specialist support call the confidential 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. This helpline is free and run in partnership by Refuge and Women's Aid.

People can also call Merseyside Police on 101 or if they are in immediate danger call 999.