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Man jailed for murdering ex-partner's flatmate with hammer

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image copyrightDevon and Cornwall Police
image captionPolice said Anthony Brinton carried out a "vicious and cowardly attack"

A man who beat his ex-partner's flatmate to death with a hammer "in cold blood" has been jailed for murder.

Anthony Brinton, 43, killed Adrian Cieslik in the victim's flat in Cliff Road, Plymouth, in January. Mr Cieslik, 34, died in hospital in March.

The court heard Brinton was jealous because he wrongly believed Mr Cieslik was in a relationship with his ex-partner, who also lived in the flat.

Brinton, who admitted murder, was jailed for a minimum of 28 years.

Window cleaner Brinton, of no fixed address, hit the Polish national at least nine times on 12 January and left him for dead, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

He had initially claimed he wrestled the tool from Mr Cieslik after he was attacked when visiting the flat, but changed his plea to guilty during the trial.

'Cowardly attack'

Handing Brinton a life sentence, Judge Peter Johnson said he had "lied fluently" and "tried to manipulate the police and the jury" but "failed on both counts".

The judge said it was "wicked, brutal attack, all done in cold blood".

He said Brinton had an inability to deal with the breakup of his previous year-long relationship with Mr Cieslik's flatmate, Emma Tozer.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it was a "vicious and cowardly attack" which "occurred when Adrian was lying in his bed".

The force said it was a "complex and protracted" investigation because of Brinton's lies.

Det Insp Costa Nassaris said: "Mr Cieslik had moved to Plymouth where he was working to create a good life for himself and we have sent our deepest condolences to his family, who live in Poland and were unable to attend the trial."

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