Teenager who strangled man 'for cigarettes' jailed

Daniel Kurmelovs Image copyright GMP
Image caption Daniel Kurmelovs admitted to a friend he had murdered a man for his cigarettes

A teenager who strangled a man to death before taking personal items from his body has been jailed.

Daniel Kurmelovs, 18, killed 53-year-old Frank Lennon at his flat in Collyhurst in July 2018, police said.

He was arrested six days later after admitting to a friend he had murdered a man "for his cigarettes", which he then tried to sell.

Kurmelovs was found guilty of murder at Manchester Crown Court and sentenced to life with a minimum of 25 years.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Frank Lennon was found at his Collyhurst home

Kurmelovs, of Dalton Road, Middleton, had met Mr Lennon by chance in the city centre and went back to the victim's flat in Hamerton Road at about 22:00 BST on 20 July last year.

He then strangled Mr Lennon to death and filled one of his suitcases with Spanish cigarettes and other items stolen from his home, Greater Manchester Police said.

He ransacked the flat and also stole a watch, necklace and cash from Mr Lennon's body.

Kurmelovs was captured on CCTV leaving the flat in the early hours of the following day with the suitcase.

'Justice served'

A post-mortem examination found Mr Lennon died as a result of compression of the neck, police said. He also suffered fractured ribs and other injuries including cuts to his ear.

Six days later, Kurmelovs admitted to a friend he had murdered a man for his cigarettes which he then attempted to sell.

Senior investigating officer, Bob Tonge, said: "Kurmelovs brutally murdered Frank in his own home.

"Not satisfied that he was dead, he even took some scissors and cut Frank's ear - an attempt, he claimed, to see if he was alive [and] set about ransacking his flat and stealing his possessions which he brazenly tried to sell just days later."

After the sentencing, Mr Lennon's family said he "is missed every minute of every day" and though "justice has been served" it will "not bring Frank back or make our loss any easier."

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