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Violent sex offender gets life for murder

Joe Williams August 22, 2015

A violent sexual offender who carried out a “sustained and brutal” murder of a university student has been jailed for life.

Richard Danter, 31, was told today told he must serve a minimum of 15 years and five months in prison for the killing of 20-year-old Billy Mankelow.

A court heard how Danter carried out the horrific assault on Mr Mankelow after the pair had gone to the Dark Arches – a gay cruising area in Leeds – for a sexual encounter, reports The Yorkshire Evening Post.

They had met earlier in The Viaduct – a popular pub with the city’s LGBT community.

Danter kicked and stamped on Mr Mankelow’s head more than 20 times, before returning to the venue and informing staff that he had attacked someone.

Danter then returned to Mr Mankelow as he lay severely injured, before dragging his victim’s body further into the Dark Arches to prevent anyone from from discovering him.

The court heard how Danter then fled after being seen by two members of the public who rushed to Mr Mankelow’s aid.

They found the social sciences student – originally from Kent – half naked and bleeding heavily from his head – but still breathing.

Emergency services were called, but he died later that day, (April 26) from major head injuries.

The surgeon who dealt with Mr Mankelow said that he had “never before seen such trauma that was completely focused on the head and facial area.”

Danter – who had a history of sexual and violent crimes – originally tried to conceal his crime, by stealing his victim’s passport and mobile phone – and later disposing of his bloodstained clothes.

However, he later pleaded guilty to the attack in court.

Mr Manklow – who was bisexual – had a three-year-old child from a previous relationship and had recently lost his mother.

His family released a statement after the verdict, saying: “Billy loved life and had lots of friends.

“He was independent and motivated and went to study at Leeds University. 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.”

Det Chief Insp David Shipperlee, of British Transport Police, said: “Billy 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.”

More: Crime, Leeds, murder

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