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18 July 2016, 11:09
A 33 year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum term of 18 years at Winchester Crown Court following a murder enquiry in Portsmouth earlier this year.
Brendon Michael Willis of no fixed address had previously pleaded guilty to the murder of 27-year-old Christopher Butler.
Police launched a murder investigation after the body of Christopher Butler was discovered at an address in Waverley Road, Southsea, at 12.30am on January 1, 2016.
He was sentenced to life in prison, serving a minimum of 18 years.
Detective Superintendent Becky Riggs said: “This was an unprovoked, brutal murder, in which Brendon Willis used an axe to kill Christopher Butler.
“Thankfully this type of crime is not common and it became clear in the very early stages of the investigation that it was most likely that the victim and the offender were known to each other.
“On January 3 we put out a wanted appeal to locate Willis and as a direct result of our appeal, we arrested him later that day. He was subsequently charged with the murder of Butler on January 6.
“This was a particularly challenging investigation because the number of people we needed to speak to and their reluctance to speak to the police; however I am pleased that our hard work paid off and resulted in Willis pleading guilty to murder at his first court hearing.
“I hope today’s sentence goes some way to giving Christopher’s family closure.
“Lastly I would like to express my gratitude to members of the wider community who supported us in our investigation in sharing our appeal. I would also like to recognise the efforts of our uniformed colleagues who attended and guarded the scene, as well as other partner agencies who worked with us to ensure the community continued to feel safe.”
From Hampshire Police