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Friend guilty of a ‘savage and unprovoked’ murder

No apparent motive for double stabbing at flat after evening of drinking and smoking cannabis

01 December, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Bradley Wood had known victim for 15 years

A MAN who killed his friend by stabbing him 29 times will be sentenced today (Friday) after being found guilty of murder.

Bradley Wood, 25, had been friends with the victim, Lee Jay Hatley, since they were teenagers. But in June, he unleashed a knife attack described as “savage and unprovoked” at a flat in Baxter Road, Canonbury, after an evening of drinking and smoking cannabis.

The Old Bailey was told how Mr Hatley, 29, a father-of-one, was bleeding severely and about to lose consciousness when he told police that Mr Wood had stabbed him. He died in hospital later that day.

Wood had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder and attacking Mr Hatley’s friend, Lauren Egan-Perkins, who suffered a stab wound to the neck. A jury rejected his defence after a five-day trial.

Victim Lee Jay Hatley

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson, QC, said both Mr Hatley and Ms Egan-Perkins had noted some concerns about Wood as he “started to talk of how Hatley enjoyed a better life than his own, because he had been in foster care and prison”. It was felt that Wood was “jealous”.

Wood claimed in court that it was Mr Hatley who had “flipped” after he picked up knife and jokingly threatened to slash the tyres of his bike.

He told the court: “He was aggressive. I remember him trying to reach for the knife. I pushed him back. He grabbed my head and pulled me forwards with my head down. At that stage we started scuffling.”

He claimed that he did not mean to hurt Mr Hatley and, after fleeing the scene by bike, later handed himself into police. The jury took eight hours of deliberation before finding him guilty.

Floral tributes left after Mr Hatley’s death in June

Angela Moriarty, re­viewing lawyer at CPS London Homicide, said: “The victims had been socialising with Wood. Lee Hatley had known Bradley Wood for 15 years.

“Lee Hatley was subjected to a savage and unprovoked attack by Wood, who had armed himself with a knife. Having repeatedly stabbed Lee Hatley, Wood then attacked the female victim, who had been asleep in bed. She sustained wounds, including to her neck.”

She added: “Thankfully, she survived to give evidence at the trial that ultimately convicted Wood. There was no apparent motive for either attack.

“I hope this conviction provides some comfort to Mr Hatley’s family and friends.”

Detective Chief Insp­ector Dave Whellams, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “This was a brutal murder, and an attack which left a young woman seriously injured.

“I hope the verdicts provide some comfort to Mr Hatley’s family, and to the young woman seriously assaulted by Wood.”

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