‘Prisoner used smashed aftershave bottle to murder cellmate at Leeds prison,’ court told


A prisoner used a smashed aftershave bottle to murder a fellow inmate in their shared cell at Armley jail, a jury heard today.

John Westland, 29, is on trial accused of murdering Liam Deane at the prison in Leeds.

A court heard Westland told police after the incident: “I murdered him because he is a sex offender”.

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Leeds Crown Court heard Deane was found dead by prison officers on the top bunk of his cell after Westland pressed an emergency buzzer on November 12 last year.

Peter Moulson, QC, prosecuting, said Westland and Deane shared cell 21 on landing four of the jail’s F wing.

At the time of the alleged attack they were the only two people sharing the cell.

The prosecutor said: “Mr Deane was found dead because someone, say the prosecution, had assaulted him.

“Obviously there is only one candidate.”

The jury of seven women and five men were told that Deane had been attacked by a fragment of fragments of glass from a smashed aftershave bottle.

Mr Mouslon said there was also evidence that Deane had been strangled.

Westland pleads not guilty to murder. The trial is expected to last a week.

The prosecutor said Westland will contend that he was not responsible for assaulting Deane and that his cellmate died as a result of self-inflicted injuries.

The court heard Westland may also contend that Deane died as a result of taking the drug spice.

Mr Moulson said it was a pathologist’s conclusion that Deane died as a result of the physical injuries he sustained.

The pathologist’s view is that the Deane’s injuries were not typical of self-inflicted injury.

The court heard Westland was arrested after Deane’s death and told police in interview: “I murdered him because he is a sex offender”

The trial continues