Brown Clee Hill: Moses Christensen jailed for walker's murder

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Moses ChristensenImage source, West Mercia Police
Image caption,
Moses Christensen had denied murder by reason of diminished responsibility

A man who murdered a walker in a random knife attack at a beauty spot has been jailed for at least 28 years.

Moses Christensen, 22, killed 70-year-old Richard Hall on Brown Clee Hill in Shropshire in August.

Passing sentence at Stafford Crown Court, the judge described it as a "brutal and entirely senseless killing of an innocent stranger who had caused you no offence".

He added the murder had been committed "with great savagery".

The trial last month heard Christensen had roamed the hillside looking for someone to kill.

Image caption,
Mr Hall's body was found on Brown Clee Hill in Shropshire in August 2020

Mr Hall, from Perton in Staffordshire, had gone out for a walk on the morning of 13 August, telling his wife, Sheila he would be back in time for something to eat.

While he was there, Christensen attacked him with a combat-style knife, inflicting 26 wounds to his neck, chest and head, including one which penetrated his skull.

During sentencing, Mr Justice Pepperall told him: "You showed Mr Hall no mercy and you were later to tell the police that you felt no real remorse.

"I am sure that your offending was pre-meditated over, at the very least, some weeks before you murdered Mr Hall."

The 22-year-old, of Corser Street in Stourbridge, was also given a concurrent 28-month sentence for possession of an offensive weapon.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
The sentencing hearing was told Richard Hall's widow had been left "devastated beyond words" by her husband's death

At trial, Christensen had denied murder by reason of diminished responsibility, but was found guilty.

The court was told Christensen was being sought by police after allegedly telling a relative he wanted to kill three of his former teachers and had "a desire to... eat the flesh of one of them".

He had a history of depression dating back to his early teens and was arrested after knocking on the door of a house and telling the woman inside he had committed a crime.

Christensen then told the police he had "cut himself whilst committing a murder" and went on to describe in interviews his intention had been to "go out and kill or be killed".

In a statement issued following the trial, Mr Hall's family said he had been "brutally and senselessly taken away by what can only be described as an act of pure evil".

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