Murderer caught on CCTV in pub after 'frenzied and gruesome' attack on girlfriend

The CCTV image from a bar in Wigan
The CCTV image from a bar in Wigan
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This is the chilling moment a "violent, jealous and controlling" man was caught on CCTV in a Wigan pub - the day after brutally murdering his girlfriend in St Helens.


Adam Brettle, 24, fled to Wigan after stabbing mother-of-two Samantha Gosney at least 21 times after a row about her going to her grandmother’s funeral.

He left her fatally injured in her flat in St Helens and was spotted trying to buy cocaine in Wigan town centre later that day, Saturday, November 24.

This CCTV image shows him the following day, sitting in Harry's Bar, on Wallgate, at 9.40am.

He was chatting up a barmaid and at one point he even told her: "I wish my girlfriend had a body like you".

Brettle, of no fixed address, stayed in the pub until around 3pm and then travelled to North Wales.

He was apprehended the next day in St Asaph when police officers were called to the theft of a mobile phone and later realised he was wanted for Samantha's murder.

Brettle has now pleaded guilty to her murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment at Liverpool Crown Court. He must serve a minimum of 19 years, less 174 days served already, before he can be considered for release.

He stabbed 29-year-old Samantha at around 11.40am at the flat on Swan Avenue, in Parr, St Helens.

The couple had been arguing in the days before as Brettle did not want Samantha to go to the funeral and reception for her grandmother on Thursday, November 22.

She did attend, but Brettle rang her constantly and several witnesses heard him swearing at her on the phone and demanding she go home.

The taxi driver who collected her from the funeral told police she had been on the phone to Brettle during the journey and told him that she was going home as quickly as possible.

An hour after she got back to the flat, she sent a text message to her cousin to tell her Brettle had punched her and given her a black eye.

Two days later, Samantha rang 999 and told the call handler that Brettle was assaulting her.

She then screamed and said he had a knife and was about to stab her. Her breathing began to falter and she fell silent.

When the police arrived shortly afterwards they found her lifeless body in a pool of blood.

District crown prosecutor Keith Drummond, of Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: “The paramedics said the scene that met them when they got to the flat was ‘pure butchery’ and they said that the attack appeared to have been ‘frenzied and gruesome’.

“In interview, Brettle tried to claim that Ms Gosney had been abusive and controlling and that her actions had driven him to the assault.

“But the Crown Prosecution Service’s case showed that it was in fact Brettle who was controlling and violent - friends and relatives of Ms Gosney confirmed this.

“The couple had been rowing because she wanted to go to her grandmother’s funeral – hardly an unreasonable wish. But Brettle had told her not to go. When she did, the rows that followed culminated in him stabbing her 21 times. Ominously, she had told a friend a few months before her death that she was concerned about his behaviour and had said he may ‘one day be the death of me’.

“That prediction came true in the most horrific way on November 24."

Det Sgt Lisa Milligan said: “This was a shocking and heartbreaking 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."