A Barrow man has been sentenced to life in prison for murder.
Damien Hill, 45, of no fixed above, will serve a minimum of 16 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of the murder of Guy Hamilton.
Guy, 35, died in hospital on April 30th of last year after Hill attacked him with a machete, at the victim’s home address on Meetings View, Barrow.
Police enquiries confirmed that both of them had been watching Barrow play football earlier in the day, before drinking in a local pub and heading to a convenience store, where they were heard laughing and joking, and talking about the football.
They then went to Guys address and at 9.44pm on that Saturday night, Guy called a taxi to take him to back to a bar. By 9.52pm, Guy had made another call, to 999.
During those 8 minutes, police believe that Hill attacked Guy with the machete causing him a fatal injury to his throat. Guy somehow managed to call 999 and leave his house to alert neighbours, who attempted to help him before an ambulance arrived.
At this time witnesses reported seeing another man, believed to be Hill, stood outside Hamilton’s front door smoking a cigarette.
Hill was later arrested by police.
In police interviews he stated that he had no recollection of being with Guy when he received his injuries and he stated that he did not know what happened to him.
Detective Chief Inspector Furzana Nazir said: “I am pleased that Damian Hill has been convicted of killing Guy Hamilton, and that he will now spend time in prison for what he did.
“Serious cases like this one invariably involve a large number of people and experts from both the police and other accredited organisations, and I would like to thank all those that assisted in bringing this case to court and getting justice for Guy and his family.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight the dangers of collecting or owning machetes or large knives. As Guy’s death demonstrates, in the wrong hands these can be used against you and sadly lead to a fatality. You may have similar items or other martial arts weapons at home with no intention to use them, but this does not mean that you, and the community, are safe from the harm they can cause.
“The family – Guy’s mum Liz, and his stepdad Kevin – have remained composed throughout the trial, in the face of a situation that most parents will thankfully never find themselves in. My thoughts are with them and I would like to thank them for being strong during this extremely difficult time.”
Speaking after the court case, Liz and Kevin said: “First of all we would like to thank Cumbria Police for all their hard work. Especially the family liaison team and the DCI in charge of the case. Also our QC, Mr Medland, and everyone else involved in the case.
“We, Guy’s parents, would also like to thank both of our families for their unwavering love and support during the past traumatic 11 months, as we strove to come to terms with the loss of our beloved son Guy.
“Lastly, we are most grateful to and would like to thank all of ours and Guy’s friends and also the good people of Ormsgill for their support and good wishes during this time.
“The jury found Hill guilty of murder and we feel the sentence is appropriate. Justice has been done for our son Guy.”
Annabelle Hartley, District Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: “Damien Hill carried out a brutal attack upon his friend after spending an evening socialising together at the victim’s flat.
“He used a double edged black handled machete, which was around 65 cm in length, to cut his throat before leaving the flat and returning home.
“Throughout the case though Hill admitted he had inflicted the wounds, he denied that he had done so with the intention of causing serious harm or murder. However following a five day trial, the jury found him guilty of murdering Guy Hamilton.
“Today he has been given a life sentence; he must face up to the consequences of his violent actions.
“We sincerely hope that today’s conviction and sentence brings Mr Hamilton’s family and friends some sense that justice has been served. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”