A man who dumped his dying friend in a Blackpool alleyway after stamping on his head three times has been jailed for eight years.
Frank McCartney, 44, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of school-friend James Whitelaw after a drunken row erupted between the pair over a missing bag of heroin in the entrance to a block of flats in Regent Road.
Preston Crown Court heard former heroin addict McCartney of Reads Avenue, Blackpool stamped on Mr Whitelaw’s head three times while shouting abuse at him.
He then dragged his unconscious body to the nearby alleyway leaving him to be found by a member of the public, the court heard.
A police investigation was launched and it was discovered Mr Whitelaw had been attacked just days before his was discovered with a bleed on the brain.
Despite the best efforts of medical staff the 46-year-old passed away at Royal Preston Hospital.
Following his death, detectives arrested and charged another man with murder.
But after further inquiries police discovered the victim had been attacked a second time just days later by Frank McCartney and reduced the man who was originally arrested’s charges to unlawful wounding.
The court heard that man got Mr Whitelaw in a headlock and punched him in the head after coming across him in the Regent Road area on November 20. The victim fell, causing a wound to the back of his head, before staggering away.
He was sentenced to a community order involving 18 months supervision.
Judge Anthony Russell said: “This is a very unusual case, in the way another man was charged in connection with a crime you committed.
“If there had been a trial I would have sentenced you to 10 years imprisonment, but for your guilty plea I will reduce that by two years. I sentence you to eights years in prison.”
For the full story see tomorrow’s Gazette.