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Cries of ‘rot in hell’ as man who stabbed pal to death gets 28 years

Bradley Wood is jailed for murder of father-of-one Lee Jay Hatley at Canonbury flat after the friends had been drinking and smoking cannabis together

01 December, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Bradley Wood has been jailed for the murder of Lee Jay Hatley

“ROT in hell”, screamed members of Lee Jay Hatley’s family, the father-of-one who was stabbed to death at a Canonbury flat, as his killer was sentenced to serve at least 28 years behind bars.

Bradley Wood, 25, argued with Mr Hatley’s family as he was led out of the Old Bailey courtroom today (Friday) to start his life sentence.

Wood, of no fixed abode but from Islington, was found guilty of Mr Hatley’s murder by a jury last Tuesday following a week-long trial.

During the trial the court heard how both men were friends who had known each other for around 15 years and had been drinking and smoking cannabis together prior to the attack in June.

A victim statement by Mr Hatley’s mother, Lesley Hatley, read out at the sentencing, said: “He has completely ripped our family apart. Since Lee’s death part of me has died. His sister is also suffering and I am finding it hard to deal with this.

“When I first heard Bradley had been named as a suspect, I found it difficult to comprehend. But Lee was never completely trusting of Bradley who classed himself as his best friend but this was not mutual.

Lee Jay Hatley

“How do you tell a two-year-old that he will never see his daddy again? I know he has been badly affected by it all.”

She continued: “I gave permission for his life support to be switched off. I watched him die and that moment will stay with me forever. I can’t help feeling if his rucksack, which had been stolen, had been left with him, then I could have said goodbye to him for longer.”

The statement detailed how Mr Hatley was only identified by his fingerprints by police who notified Ms Hatley her son was in hospital.

CCTV footage of Wood showed him leaving the block of flats where his friend lay dying with Mr Hatley’s rucksack.

Lauren Egan-Perkins, whose flat both men were socialising in, was also attacked by Wood as she lay sleeping and was stabbed in the neck. The jury found Wood guilty of wounding her with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. She survived the attack but the court heard how she had to be fed from a tube for months.

The jury heard how Mr Hatley was stabbed 29 times by Wood at a flat in Westcliff House, Baxter Road – one stab wound was eight to 10cm long and had reached his liver and right lung. Another had pierced his skull and was done with such force it had snapped the knife.

The court was told Wood had 11 other convictions for 32 other offences prior to attacking Mr Hatley, with his first conviction at just 16 years old for battery. He had only been released from prison a few weeks before Mr Hatley’s attack after being convicted for handling stolen goods. In 2013, he had been sentenced to four years at a young offenders’ institute after biting a man’s cheek and assaulting his partner at the time.

At the sentencing, Judge Mark Dennis told the court: “I have difficulty believing his remorse. Only you know the true reason why you carried out such dreadful violence. You have scant regard for anyone apart from yourself.”

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