Jailed for life

A ST HELENS man who battered a pal to death with two bricks during a drug-crazed frenzy has been jailed for life.

Graham Jackson, 26, was hit on the back of the head four or five times by Barry Winstanley.

Mr Jackson, who was living rough in a tent when he was murdered, was also attacked with a broken bottle.

Winstanley, 27, also bit his victim during the attack.

He was due to face trial at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday but changed his plea to guilty to murder and was sentenced to life.

Mr Jackson had been hit so heavily pieces of his skull were found embedded deep into the core of his brain, said David Turner QC, prosecuting.

Mr Turner added: "A brick found close to his head had obviously been used as the weapon and pieces of his skull were found near the brick. As well as having suffered an attack of considerable force, the body showed signs of the added savagery of an attack by human teeth."

Ordering him to serve at least 12- and-a-half-years the judge, Mr Justice McCombe, said that he inflicted substantial suffering on his victim.

He said: "You were clearly suffering from the well-known effects of amphetamines and alcohol and drug abuse has plagued your life."

Mr Jackson was a farm labourer who had had drink and drug problems and had recently used lighter fuel as a stimulant.

In May last year he began living rough in a tent on wasteland known locally as Havannah Flash, off Southport Street, Parr, St Helens. His mother, who lived at the nearby family home, gave him a daily allowance.

Despite his eccentric lifestyle his friends would often visit him, including Winstanley, who stayed over on the evening of August 19.

During that visit, Winstanley stole a CD player and some CDs, and Mr Jackson reported the theft to police.

On August 25 he told his sister that he wanted to see Winstanley because he had pinched the items. It was the last time she saw him alive.

He was battered to death the next day and his body was found three days later. He had eight head injuries caused by at least four or five blows with a brick and facial injuries. Other injuries could have been caused by stamping or kicking.

After the murder, Winstanley went to a house in Penkford Street, Newton–le–Willows, where he sometimes stayed with his girlfriend.

He got washed and changed, put his blood-stained clothes in a bag for disposal and cleaned his trainers and his bike.

But he later confessed to a friend: "I've gone too far, I've done him in." When asked if Mr Jackson might still be alive, Winstanley said: "He's well-dead."

He handed himself in to police on August 29 and admitted his guilt.

Charles Chruszcz, QC, defending, said that Jackson had admitted to police that he had 'lost it'.

He has previous convictions for dishonesty and motoring offences but none for violence.

He became involved with alcohol and heroin as a teenager and was spending 100 a day on the drug.

He kicked the habit four years ago but was then injecting amphetamines about four times a day, using anti-depressants and alcohol.

"The violence used is entirely consistent with a wild intoxicated rage," said Mr Chruszcz.