Murderer killed sleeping victim with axe after smoking legal high


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Jun 27, 2016
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A murderer who hit his sleeping victim on the head repeatedly with an axe after smoking a legal high at a party has been given a life sentence.

Brendan Willis, 33, was told he will serve at least 18 years behind bars for killing Christopher Butler at New Year’s celebration.

Winchester Crown Court heard Willis had been smoking Spice – made from herbs and man-made chemicals.

He had told other people at the party in Southsea, Hants: ‘I want to see what it’s like to kill someone.

‘I’ve got an axe. I want to do it before New Year, I want to be famous… Blame it on Spice.

Mr Butler, 27, was asleep when Willis hit him 25 times with the axe, causing 28 wounds.

William Mousley WC, prosecuting, described the murder as ‘a vicious, sustained and repeated attack on a small defenceless man’.

Kim Booth, Mr Butler’s sister, gave a statement saying she forgave her killer. Willis wept as it was read in court.

Ms Booth said: ‘It makes me so sad and disgusted someone would choose to do this to another human just to know what it felt like.

‘I know that he has to live with the memory and acknowledgement of what he has done for the rest of his life.

‘I would like to extend my forgiveness to Brendon, this is the only way to get through this.’

And she continued: ‘My heart is broken and I hope the sadness I feel inside can one day be healed. I really hope that you take responsibility for your actions and that you feel sorry every single day.’

Judge Mr Justice Ian Dove told Willis: ‘You launched a sustained, brutal and inhumane attack on an entirely defenceless and vulnerable young man who had never done you any harm and who you knew was incapable of responding to your aggression.

‘You inflicted horrific injuries to his head for which there was no possibility that he could recover. It’s beyond doubt that you intended to kill him.’

And the judge added: ‘You seemed to have some sort of perverted and twisted sense of pride in what you’d done.’

At the time of the murder Spice was a ‘legal high’, but in May it was made an illegal psychoactive substance.

There is now a blanket ban on its sale, supply, importation and exportation.

Would you be able to forgive him like the victims sister did? (Why/Why Not)
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