London

Nightclub heir David West jailed for 13 years for killing 'abusive' father

  • 9 November 2015
  • From the section London
David West junior Image copyright Met Police
Image caption David West junior suffered 'contempt' at the hands of his father, the court heard

The heir to a string of nightclubs treated as a "whipping boy" by his father has been jailed for 13-and-a-half years for his manslaughter.

David West junior, 45, stabbed his father, of the same name, in December 2014 as he lay drunk outside his home.

Handing down the sentence, the judge acknowledged he had been bullied extensively by his father.

But he said the evidence against West was "overwhelming" and his father had been vulnerable when he was killed.

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The 70-year-old nightclub owner had made his fortune from the booze cruise trade in Belgium and France in the 1980s before moving into London's West End, buying up lapdancing clubs, restaurants, nightclubs and bars.

However, by the time of the killing, the business was in financial trouble which was the cause of some tension between the two men.

'Verbal aggression'

In mitigation, Orlando Pownall QC said West junior had been treated with "severe belittlement and contempt" by his father for 30 years, adding there was "a toxic relationship between father and son."

Image caption David West senior's body was found at an address in Piccadilly

He told the court that West junior was truly sorry for what he had done, adding: "It was a momentary aberration born of a life experience."

The court was told that the victim's family, including West junior's mother and siblings, as well as the tycoon's business partners had all been against a trial from the start but the Crown had decided it was right to bring the evidence before a jury.

A jury failed to reach a verdict on a murder charge earlier this year and today he pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of loss of control.

Sentencing him, Nicholas Hilliard QC, said: "It was clear that you suffered verbal abuse and verbal aggression from your father for many years."

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