Sex throttling man cleared of murder

Daniel Lancaster (Picture supplied by Lancashire Police)
Image caption The court heard Daniel Lancaster had been in a relationship with Anna Banks for four months

A man has been cleared of murdering his girlfriend by intentionally strangling her during sex at his Lancashire flat.

Daniel Lancaster, 25, said Anna Banks, 23, enjoyed being throttled during intercourse, the jury at Manchester Crown Court heard.

Police were called to Hawley Street in Colne on 22 December 2010 after Lancaster had phoned for an ambulance. They found Ms Banks's body.

Lancaster admitted manslaughter and will be sentenced on 17 August.

A post-mortem examination of the victim's body showed "well-developed" signs of asphyxia, consistent with fingers and thumbs being placed on the front of the neck.

Vulnerable adults

A pathologist's report stated that pressure was applied for at least 30 seconds, but was likely to have been for longer.

The court heard that the couple had been in a relationship for four months and lived in separate flats in a home for vulnerable adults.

Det Insp Mark Rothwell, from Lancashire Police, said: "While I respect the decision of the jury, naturally Anna's family is disappointed with the decision to clear the defendant on the charge of murder.

"However, following Lancaster's guilty plea to manslaughter, he will be sentenced to a very long time behind bars and I hope this will be of some small comfort to the family as they continue to try to come to terms with their loss.

"Our thoughts are with Anna's family at this difficult time and we will continue to offer our support for as long as they need it."

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