'Bully' who brutally murdered his friend at Leeds flat after getting 'fed up' with him must serve a minimum of 16 years in prison

A killer who murdered his friend at his flat in a drink and drug-fuelled attack after becoming 'fed up' with him has been told he must serve a minimum of 16 years in prison.

By Tony Gardner
Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 1:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 3:56 pm

James Macken was given a life-sentence today (March 10) over the brutal killing of Daniel Jeffery on April 13 last year.

Mr Jeffrey, 32, suffered more than 100 injuries to his head and body in the attack at Macken's Brewery Wharf flat.

Leeds Crown Court heard the killing took place after the two man had spent days drinking and taking drugs at the flat on Bowman Lane.

James Macken must serve a minimum of 16 years in prison for the murder of Daniel Jeffrey.

The court heard Mr Jeffrey had alcohol problems had had been invited to stay at Macken's home days earlier.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Jacobs said he believed Macken had become "fed up" with his friend as he was ill and making a mess at his home.

He said: "His alcoholism meant he was making a mess and being sick and there were arguments between you.

"You are also a person who drinks too much and when intoxicated can be volatile, threatening and physically violent.

"You like to show who is boss."

The judge continued: "I am sure that your attack was fuelled by drink and drugs.

"The evidence indicates that you are a different man when sober to one when you have been taking drugs and are in drink.

"Mr Jeffrey was vulnerable. He had been ill for some days in your flat.

"His health was poor as a result of his condition and misuse of alcohol. This meant he was vulnerable.

"You described him to your neighbours as all skin and bone.

"He was in no position to resist. It was a brutal assault on a man who was in no position to fight back."

Extensive injuries to Mr Jeffrey's body were discovered during a post mortem.

He had suffered nine fractured ribs and an injury to his spleen which had caused him to lose over a litre of blood internally.

A pathologist concluded that Mr Jeffrey had suffered the injuries as a result of a sustained "physical assault."Macken was unanimously found guilty of murder after a two-week trial.

Mr Jeffrey's mum, Lyndsay Anderson, provided a victim statement to the court describing her grief at losing her only child.

She said: "Words cannot begin to describe how the death as affected me over the last 11 months.

"Daniel was a very special boy.

Mrs Anderson said her son had Asperger's Syndrome and had a high IQ.

She said Mr Jeffrey was highly intelligent which enabled him to get well paid jobs in IT

She said: "Daniel's life was not without its struggles and he often battled to deal with alcohol and other substances.

"Due to his Asperger's condition Daniel was socially awkward. This made him very vulnerable."

"Daniel was not a violent person.I would describe him as a gentle giant.

"Despite my best efforts he could be easily led."

Mrs Anderson described how she had concerns for her son's safety after seeing him associating with Macken.

She said: "I remember meeting him in a pub in London and it was obvious he was a bully.

"I did not like Daniel associating with him.

"I asked Daniel not to go live with him as I was worried about what he would do.

"I never imagined that Daniel would not return to me.

"Daniel was not only my best friend, he was also my primary carer and I was completely lost without him.

"The thought of justice has kept me going over the past year.

"However, now that the trial is over, I don't know how I will go on.

"How can any human being do that to someone?

"Daniel would never have harmed anyone. He was such a kind and caring man.

"James Macken does not deserve to see the light of day again.

"I will never forgive him for this. James Macken has destroyed my life."

Simon Kealey QC, mitigating, said Macken committed the attack out of frustration and had not intended to kill Mr Jeffrey.

After the case, senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Cass said: “Daniel Jeffrey’s family have been left utterly devastated by his death in these terrible circumstances.

“Daniel was someone who was vulnerable and had come to stay with Macken in Leeds looking for a new start.

"He considered Macken a friend and someone he should have been safe with, but the evidence shows he brutally assaulted him causing serious injuries that resulted in his death.

“We hope that his conviction and imprisonment for Daniel’s murder will help the family in some way as they continue to come to terms with their loss.”