Somerset

Man jailed for 'Manchester Tommy' killing in Bath

Thomas Downey Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Thomas Downey's body was found under a railway arch on Christmas Eve

A killer who bludgeoned a homeless man to death in Bath has been jailed.

Darrell Richards, 47, used a metal bar to batter Thomas Downey, 51, who was known locally as "Manchester Tommy" because of where he came from.

His body was found on Christmas Eve under a railway arch in Lower Bristol Road, where it had lain undiscovered for a week, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Richards, who was also homeless, was sentenced to 10 years and nine months after admitting manslaughter.

Image copyright Police issue
Image caption Darrell Richards admitted manslaughter

Speaking after sentencing, Det Ch Insp Julie Mackay said: "Thomas Downey died as the result of a callous and brutal assault.

"He'd been bludgeoned to death, the blows causing multiple fractures to his skull."

She said: "The attack by Darrell Richards, a fellow member of the homeless community, was vicious and appears to have resulted from what was effectively a very minor disagreement."

The detective said police accepted the manslaughter plea because they believe "it reflects what took place in that archway on that evening".

Det Ch Insp Mackay added: "We hope today's sentencing will bring some closure for Tommy's family."

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