John Baxendale: Man jailed for killing best friend over 'affair'

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David HeskethImage source, GMP
Image caption,
David Hesketh was found guilt of murder following a trial

A man who killed his best friend in a "fit of rage" because he thought he was having an affair with his girlfriend has been jailed.

John Baxendale, 32, was found with more than 70 injuries in the bedroom of his flat on Aldersyde Street, Great Lever, Bolton, on 14 September.

David Hesketh, 48, of no fixed address, was found guilty of murder at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

A judge ordered him to serve a minimum of 20 years.

Hesketh launched his attack after accusing Mr Baxendale, known as Jonny, of having an "intimate relationship" with his girlfriend, police said.

He was left with fractures to his skull and ribs and bleeding on his brain.

Image source, GMP
Image caption,
John Baxendale's family described him as a "wonderful selfless person"

Hesketh then "turned his rage" towards a 40-year-old woman, leaving her with broken ribs and serious facial injuries before Hesketh escaping in a taxi.

About three hours later, he returned to the scene where he was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Hesketh pleaded guilty to manslaughter at a previous hearing, but denied intending to kill his victim.

Senior Investigating Officer Bob Tonge said: "My heartfelt thoughts today are with his family who have had to endure weeks at court, listening to Hesketh try and present himself as anything but a murderer.

"I only hope they can take some solace that he has been sentenced as a murderer and had his right to live as a free man taken away from him."

Mr Baxendale's family described him as a "wonderful selfless person" who was killed in a "needless act of violence".

"The man who took Jonny from us has now been sentenced for the cowardly act," they added.

"Though this cannot bring Jonny back it does help us to start to come to terms with what has happened knowing his killer is behind bars."

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