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John McHale Tameside murder: David Platt given life sentence

image copyrightGMP
image captionDavid Platt was told to serve a minimum of 30 years in prison

A man found guilty of murdering a fellow Tameside guest house resident before setting fire to his body has been jailed for life.

Police said John McHale, 57, was strangled with a ligature and stamped on by David Platt before being doused with white spirit and set alight.

Mr McHale's body was found in March at Syl's Guest House on Manchester Road, Audenshaw.

At Manchester Crown Court, Platt, 39, was told to serve at least 30 years.

The fire service was called to the guest house, where Platt and Mr McHale lived, after the sprinkler system was activated.

Mr McHale, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was found buried under a pile of duvets, curled up in the foetal position, police said.

One of Platt's fingerprints was found by crime scene investigators on a bottle of white spirit left in Mr McHale's bedroom.

And a pillow matching a duvet found covering McHale's body was found in Platt's bedroom next door.

image captionEmergency services were called to Syl's Guest House, Audenshaw, when the sprinkler system was activated

Lucy Marlow, senior crown prosecutor for the CPS in the North West, said Platt was a "dangerous man" who had carried out a "premeditated and brutal murder".

She said: "The offence was motivated by both the defendant's desire for financial gain and his belief that the deceased, who was a convicted sex offender, was a lesser person than him.

"David Platt has shown no remorse throughout the case and continued to deny all responsibility for the murder and arson, but following trial a jury found him culpable of the offences he faced.

"The CPS and police will continue to work together to bring to justice those who take the law into their own hands and attempt to deliver their own retribution."

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