Murderer David Fielding sentenced to life

Image caption, Fielding returned to the flat where the body remained to retrieve a laptop

A 25-year-old Lancashire man has been jailed for life after being found guilty of stabbing his partner through the heart.

David Fielding, of Lynthorpe Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, murdered James Todd, 27, at his Clayton-le-Moors home last September.

The Preston Crown Court jury was told that Mr Todd's body lay for three weeks at the flat on Rutland Close.

Fielding was told he must serve a minimum of 18 years.

Speaking after the sentence, Det Supt Neil Hunter said: "This was an incredibly tragic case. James was a young man with his whole life ahead of him.

"James and his partner David Fielding shared a tempestuous relationship punctuated with episodes of violence of which James was invariably the victim and this wasn't the first time Fielding had taken a knife to James.

"The despicable nature of this murder was the fact that after killing James, Fielding left his body in the flat undiscovered for numerous weeks.

"Let's not forget that Fielding wanted people to believe that James was a person who he had previously been affectionate towards.

Image caption, James Todd had been stabbed in the heart

"Immediately after the offence, Fielding showed his true colours, disappearing off to Kent to visit a relative and then visiting the Lake District and Birmingham, whilst no doubt planning and inventing a story in an effort to excuse his wicked, fatal and violent attack.

"He also used James' cash card and phone after the killing and, quite remarkably, he even returned to the flat to recover a computer whilst James was still lying dead in the bedroom.

"Fielding even closed James' Facebook account down in a despicable attempt to cover his tracks.

"This was one of the most demanding scenes I have ever had to manage due to the decomposition of the body.

"There was clear evidence that Fielding had attempted to clean up in an effort to cover his tracks but he failed miserably.

"I have nothing but admiration for the work they did in the most difficult and unpleasant of circumstances."

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