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03 Sep 2020
Amputee Murder – Oliver Saxby QC and Nina Ellin ProsecutingTweet
A man who killed a wheelchair-bound amputee was sentenced to Life Imprisonment on Tuesday. His minimum term was set at 28 years’ imprisonment. Michael Bryant, 36, had brutally murdered his downstairs neighbour, Alan Wyatt, in February of last year and had then set fire to Mr Wyatt’s body. Mr Bryant contended that he had played no part in Mr Wyatt’s killing – saying that he had been elsewhere at the time. A trial took place in March 2020, at which the Crown set about the task of disproving Mr Bryant’s case – calling detailed and complex expert pathological, DNA, blood spatter, fingermark, footmark and fire evidence. At the end of the Crown’s case, Mr Bryant confessed to having killed Mr Wyatt, albeit he denied that three weapons had been used (the evidence from the pathologist was that the killer had used a hammer, meat cleaver and kitchen knife) and he asserted that none of these had been ’taken to the scene’ – of relevance to sentence. He also wished for the defence of diminished responsibility to be looked into. Eventually, the Defence having obtained two psychiatric reports and the Crown one, on 1st September 2020, Mr Bryant entered a plea of guilty to murder. The Defence contended that three counts of possession of an offensive weapon should be added to the indictment – so that a jury (and not the sentencing judge) could determine which weapons had been used and which of them had been taken to the scene. The learned judge, Judge Adele Williams, rejected this submission – instead offering Mr Bryant the opportunity to give evidence at a Newton Hearing. He declined.
News coverage of the case is below: