Words: Steve Brown
A man has been sentenced to life for the murder of an older man after strangling him during a sex game.
Daniel Kurmelovs met 53-year-old Frank Lennon in Manchester’s Gay Village in July last year where the older man asked the 18 year old to strangle him for ‘masochistic pleasure’, the Manchester Evening News reported.
The two went back to Lennon’s flat in Collyhurst, where he lived alone after the death of his long-term partner.
A jury heard when the victim asked Kurmelovs – who identifies as bisexual – to choke up, he allegedly refused but then accepted.
Kurmelovs strangled Lennon – who was face down on the floor – with his hands about five or six times ‘on and off’ before using a scarf.
The defendant claimed Lennon told him ‘not to stop’ but he then ‘just hit the floor’.
Prosecutors claimed that Lennon was murdered due to further injuries he suffered including broke ribs, cuts to his right ear and a ransacked apartment.
A pathologist confirmed that the cut to his ear was inflicted after his death and Kurmelovs said he did it to ‘check if he was still alive’.
Kurmelovs – who denied the murder charge saying it was an accident – also stole Lennon’s watch, crucifix neck chain and 5,000 cigarettes that he had bought in Spain.
Now, a jury at Manchester Crown Court found the 18 year old guilty and sentenced him to life in prison.
Judge David Stockdale said: “Frank Lennon derived gratification from being strangled.
“When he invited you to his flat his purpose was to ask you to strangle him. It was not in order that he would suffer significant injury, and certainly not so he would die.
“Lying face down on his sitting room floor, he could not have been more vulnerable. He was at your mercy. You took your opportunity and you strangled him.
“Your purpose was to rob him, and that’s exactly what you did. You revelled in your appalling crime. The murder of Frank Lennon was a foul, wicked act.”
He will now serve a minimum of 25 years before he can be considered for release.