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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Killer of Carlisle bar worker must serve at least 25 years

The killer of Carlisle bar worker Luke Hollingsworth has been sentenced to a minimum 25 years in prison.

The sentence was imposed on Jamie Armstrong, 21, at Carlisle Crown Court this afternoon.

The young dad was yesterday found guilty of murdering his 23-year-old friend in a brutal knife attack that followed a furious row over drugs and money.

Speaking at the sentencing, Judge Paul Batty QC said: "You have not shown a tinge of regret, not a flicker of remorse as you cynically lied before this Carlisle jury over the last three weeks."

The judge spoke of the horrible, protracted nature of the attack on Mr Hollingsworth as he fled for his life.

He said Armstrong - who showed no emotion as sentence was passed - had caused him significant mental and physical suffering for his death.

He described the attack as being of an almost sadistic nature and condemned him for trying to conceal the evidence of what he had done.

"The only mitigating factor is your age," he added.

As the sentence was read out there was a cry of "You mug" from the public gallery. It is not known who it was aimed at.

Speaking after the hearing, Jill Hollingsworth, Luke's mother, said: "This has had a devastating effect on my family and me. I can now rest with the thought that Jamie Armstrong has been brought to justice for the brutal murder of my much loved son, Luke.

"During this trial the thing that has upset me most is the fact that Jamie Armstrong at no time showed any remorse, even when he was found guilty yesterday.

"I do not have all the answers as to what happened to Luke on that fateful day but as a result of all the hard work of the police and Crown Prosecution Service, who brought the prosecution together, Jamie Armstrong was found guilty.

"As a result of the trial I now have some closure and can go and grieve for my son."

Today's sentencing had to be delayed when Armstrong refused to board the transfer bus from Durham Prison, prompting a scathing attack by Judge Batty.

He said: “I’m told that Armstrong was vomiting during the night but a nurse certified that he was fit to travel.

“He refused to get on the prison bus this morning.”

He continued: “This court will not be dictated to by anyone and certainly not by a convicted murderer.

“I’ve ordered him to be brought to this court by force if necessary.”

The trial had heard Mr Hollingsworth’s girlfriend found his body in the blood splattered bathroom of his home in Etterby Lea Road, Stanwix, on July 10 last year.

He had suffered catastrophic knife wounds to his back, eye and head.

Armstrong, of Warwick Road, Carlisle, was lying on the floor nearby and from the beginning he insisted the murder was the work of two masked, glove-wearing intruders he could not name.

But the jury rejected his version of the tragedy, declaring him guilty of murder after deliberating for just two hours.

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