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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Man convicted of murdering Carlisle bar worker

A young father has been found guilty of murdering his friend in a brutal knife attack that followed a furious row over drugs and money.

Jamie Armstrong photo
Jamie Armstrong

Related: Carlisle murder trial told friends fought in bathroom

Jamie Armstrong, 21, claimed that 23-year-old Carlisle bar worker Luke Hollingsworth was killed by two masked intruders who burst into his friend’s home demanding drugs and cash.

Armstrong will serve a life-sentence in prison. The minimum term of that will be decided at a hearing tomorrow.

He showed no emotion as the verdict was announced by the jury forewoman, other than to shake his head as he was led from the dock.

Mr Hollingsworth’s girlfriend found his body in the blood splattered bathroom of his home in Etterby Lea Road, Stanwix, last year.

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

Armstrong 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 a jury today rejected his version of the tragedy, declaring him guilty of murder after deliberating their verdict at Carlisle Crown Court. They took two hours to reach their decision.

After hearing the verdict, Judge Paul Batty QC told Armstrong: "You are convicted by this jury on clear, unequivocal and overwhelming evidence.

"There is but one sentence the law can impose and that is one of life imprisonment

"As to the minimum term you will have to serve before even being considered eligible for parole I will hear submissions on that in the morning."

After the hearing, Isla Chilton, senior prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service north west, said: ”The jury have today seen through the elaborate, but ultimately implausible, series of lies that he [Armstrong] concocted to try to cover up his guilt and they have found him guilty of murder.

"Police investigators and I worked closely to piece together the many strands of evidence and to build the prosecution case that proved the only person who attacked and killed Luke Hollingsworth was Jamie Lee Armstrong."

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