Leeds & West Yorkshire

Billy Mankelow murder: Leeds man Richard Danter jailed for life

Richard Danter Image copyright British Transport Police
Image caption Richard Danter was ordered to serve a minimum of 15 years in jail

A man with a history of violent and sexual offending has been jailed for a minimum of 15 years for the savage murder of a Leeds University student.

Billy Mankelow, 20, was kicked and stamped on more than 20 times by Richard Danter after the two men met at Leeds' Viaduct Club on 25 April.

Mr Mankelow, from Tonbridge, Kent, was discovered unconscious under a railway arch in Swinegate. He died in hospital.

Danter, 31, of Queen's Road, Leeds, pleaded guilty to the murder.

Leeds Crown Court heard Mr Mankelow had gone to the club after finishing work where he was seen dancing and socialising with Danter.

They left the club together at about 02:45 BST and headed towards the Dark Arches area of the city, where Danter launched what police have described as a "totally unprovoked attack".

Danter then went back into the club and told staff members he had just killed someone before attempting to hide Mr Mankelow's body by dragging him further into the arches.

Image copyright British Transport Police
Image caption Billy Mankelow was kicked and stamped on more than 20 times
Image copyright Google
Image caption Mr Mankelow was found unconscious under a railway arch near to Commercial Garages

Sentencing Danter to life in jail the judge, Peter Collier QC, the Recorder of Leeds, said: "You subjected your victim to an unspeakable degree of violence. The surgeon who dealt with him said that he had never seen so much trauma completely focused on the head and facial area.

"Such was the savageness and brutality of your focused attack on his head, I am driven to conclude that at that moment your intention was to kill him

"You left him where you had assaulted him, helpless and dying, and went back to the nightclub.

"Later you went back and moved his body further into the arches, no doubt intending to make it more unlikely that he would be discovered.

"You also removed and disposed of his mobile phone, whether or not he would have been capable of calling for help himself I can never know."

'Violent, evil and dangerous'

Mr Mankelow's family said: "Billy's family and friends are all distraught at the way Billy died, which was so senseless and unnecessary. Billy was simply out with friends having a good time with his life ahead of him.

"We as a family will never get over the way he died, we have lost a person of exceptional kindness and good nature.

"Billy's tragic loss will be felt by everyone who knew him for a long time."

Det Ch Insp David Shipperlee, of British Transport Police, said: "His death is such a tragic waste of a young life, a life taken by a violent, evil and dangerous man, who has a history of previous convictions for violence and sexual offences, who is now where he belongs, behind bars."

Danter had served a prison sentence for robbery, and had convictions for indecent assault and attempted rape.

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