Chef who cooked boyfriend guilty of murder

Friday 17 October 2008 16:38

A chef was found guilty today of murdering a boyfriend before carving flesh from his thigh, seasoning it with fresh herbs, frying it in olive oil and chewing a section.

Former Mr Gay UK Anthony Morley, 36, from Bexley Place, Leeds, slashed Damian Oldfield's throat before stabbing him multiple times and cutting sections of flesh from his body.

Morley, who was in bed with 33-year-old Mr Oldfield at the time of the murder in April, later walked into a nearby takeaway wearing a bloodstained dressing gown and flipflops and told staff he had killed someone because he tried to rape him.

A jury at Leeds Crown Court took just two hours and 20 minutes to find him guilty of murder.

Members of the packed public gallery cheered and applauded as the verdict was read out.

Morley clasped his hands and bowed his head and several jury members left the court in tears.

During the two-week trial, the court heard how Morley carved sections of flesh from Mr Oldfield's thigh and chest, including the nipple.

He left a Lloyds TSB bank card over the wound on his victim's chest.

Police searching the house later found a chopping board with six pieces of human flesh, cooked so they were raw in the middle and browned on the edges.

A bundle of fresh herbs, a knife used to chop them, some olive oil and a dish of seeds were found on the work surface near the cooker and a frying pan was on the hob with the remnants of fried herbs and oil in it.

The murder was described to the jury as "terrible, horrific and bizarre".

The court heard that Morley and Mr Oldfield, who sold advertising space in gay lifestyle magazine Bent, had previously had a relationship of some kind but that Morley was confused about his sexuality.

Morley was the first winner of the Mr Gay UK title in 1993 but he had a girlfriend at the time.

On the day of the murder, the two men met in Leeds before later going back to Morley's house, where he cooked openly gay Mr Oldfield a meal.

The pair, who had both been drinking, kissed and cuddled and went upstairs to his bedroom to watch a DVD of the film Brokeback Mountain in bed.

The court heard that sexual activity took place between the two men before Morley launched his attack.

He claimed he could not remember killing Mr Oldfield or his following actions and denied murder on the grounds of provocation or diminished responsibility.

Judge James Stewart QC said he would sentence Morley on Monday.

After the verdict, Mr Oldfield's mother, Denise, said in a statement: "We shared a special bond, which I can still feel, but now I'm only left with memories and that's not good enough.

"Damian loved life and he has had that taken away from him in the cruellest of circumstances.

"He was so easy going and friendly that to know Damian for five minutes was to know Damian as a friend.

"Damian always made a big impression on those who knew him and I have been very touched by all the messages that have been left on the Gone Too Soon and Facebook websites.

"It's testament to Damian's popularity that school friends as well those who knew Damian more recently have left messages."

Mrs Oldfield continued: "Damian will be sadly missed by all those who knew and loved him.

"Gran, older brother Craig and sister-in-law Tracy, as well as all his nieces and nephews, will miss his smile and his company."

Detective Inspector Scott Wood, of the Homicide and Major Inquiry Team of West Yorkshire Police, praised Mr Oldfield's family for their dignity throughout the investigation and trial.

He said: "Thankfully disturbing crimes of this type remain incredibly rare events.

"None of the investigation team has been involved in a crime of this nature before."

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