Man jailed over Leyland drug dispute death

Barry Cookson
Image caption Barry Cookson found guilty of manslaughter at Preston Crown Court

A 41-year-old Lancashire man has been jailed for seven years for killing another man in a dispute over drugs.

Barry Cookson, of Westfield Drive, Leyland, was found guilty of manslaughter during his trial at Preston Crown Court.

John Leatherbarrow, 37, was found stabbed to death by police at a flat in Westfield Drive in December.

The jury accepted that Cookson acted in self-defence, but convicted him of manslaughter.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Leatherbarrow died of blood loss which resulted from two stab wounds to his legs with a kitchen knife.

He also sustained a stab wound to his buttock and head injuries.

'Bled to death'

Det Supt Neil Hunter, of Lancashire Police, described it as a "vicious and sustained" assault by Cookson who, he said, had tried to mislead the court.

"In an effort to cover his tracks during the trial, Cookson alleged that John was the aggressor and attacked him first," he said.

Mr Hunter also criticised the defendant for allowing Mr Leatherbarrow to die from what were survivable injuries.

"Sadly, Cookson waited an inordinate length of time to seek help and as a result John bled to death," he said.

Mr Leatherbarrow's family described him as "real home bird" who loved his son Jack.

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