Lancashire

Alex Davies 'suffocated on mud after being stabbed 128 times'

Alex Davies Image copyright POLICE HANDOUT
Image caption Alex Davies's body was found in an area of woodland on 1 May

A man whose body was found hidden in remote woodland was the victim of a "sustained and very violent assault", a pathologist has told a jury.

Alex Davies, 18, was alive when most of the 128 stab wounds were inflicted across his body on 28 April.

Mud and vegetation found in his mouth and nose would have suffocated him, and was consistent with being dragged face-down, Preston Crown Court heard.

Brian Healless, from Chorley, accepts he killed Mr Davies but denies murder.

The 18-year-old had met Mr Davies in Parbold, Lancashire, on a first date after messaging via dating app Grindr.

Home Office pathologist Dr Alison Armour said she examined Mr Davies's body and concluded he died from a combination of multiple stab wounds - inflicted to the back of his body, neck, chest, abdomen and left arm - and asphyxiation.

"This young man was the victim of a sustained and very violent assault where he was stabbed 128 times. It is my view that the majority of the wounds were inflicted in life," she said.

Dr Armour said there was also evidence he had been punched a number of times.

The court heard Mr Healless messaged four males on Grindr after the stabbing, and tried to meet up with two of them.

He told them he could ride his bike to a rendezvous point halfway between their homes for "some outdoor fun" and mentioned finding a "discreet spot", the jury heard.

The body of Mr Davies, from Skelmersdale, was discovered on 1 May. The cause of death was multiple stab wounds and asphyxiation, a post-mortem revealed.

The defendant was arrested at his home in Rylands Road on 3 May, where police recovered the victim's headphones, mobile phone, and wallet.

Jurors have been told they must consider whether the killing was a murder or a case of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

The trial continues.

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