The Guardian reports:
A teenager who lured a “gentle, kind-hearted” sales assistant to a remote beauty spot on a date and stabbed him to death has been locked up for a minimum of 24 years. Alex Davies, 18, was murdered in Parbold, Lancashire, by Brian Healless, also 18, after they agreed a rendezvous through the dating app Grindr.
Healless, from Chorley, tried to set up similar outdoor meetings with four other men on Grindr in the days after the killing, Preston crown court heard. He had told Davies, from Skelmersdale, he was “not out yet” and suggested a “discreet spot” halfway between their homes for their first meeting.
The defendant stabbed him 128 times at the top of Parbold Hill and dragged the Home Bargains worker face down by his collar in the mud, while still alive, and covered his body with branches and leaves.
The Liverpool Echo reports:
His defence team claimed a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia meant he had diminished responsibility for the sickening April 29 attack. But jurors took less than hour to dismiss that claim.
They had been told Healless took a kitchen knife to the scene, stole Alex’s mobile phones and wiped the history of both. That was said to be an attempt to cover up evidence of their meeting – with Healless having researched how he could remove the memory of one of Alex’s phones before they met.
Over the following days, Healless contacted four other men over Grindr in what prosecutors said may have “history repeating itself”. But detectives swooped before Healless, 18 and from Chorley, met anyone else.
Pink News reports:
He also asked ‘Matt’ what mobile phone he had, claiming he was thinking of “upgrading” his own. Matt replied that he had a Huawei P20 Lite.
“Less than four minutes later, what was Brian Healless up to on his computer?” prosecutor David McLachlan asked jurors. “Well, less than four minutes later he had his computer out and he was googling Huawei P20 Lite, Huawei P20 Lite, hard reset.”
In a lucky twist of fate, Matt’s life was saved when pushbike problems led to their meeting being delayed. Detectives tracked Healless down and arrested him before the hook-up could take place.