Lancashire TelegraphClayton teenager wrote letter to Moors murderer Ian Brady before attempting murder with hammer (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Clayton teenager wrote letter to Moors murderer Ian Brady before attempting murder with hammer

Lancashire Telegraph: Liam McAtear Liam McAtear

A TEENAGER wrote a ‘chilling’ letter to Moors murderer Ian Brady before his own attempt at killing.

Liam McAtear, 16, sneaked into his victim’s bedroom before repeatedly hitting him over the head with a metal claw hammer as he slept.

And the court was told that the defendant, from Sparth Road, Clayton-le Moors, had also written letters to others detailing plans to murder the teenage boy, also 16.

One, found his bedroom, read: “I am planning a murder and it is very interesting and makes me feel good.

“The person I am going to kill is a low life, a good for nothing, so what do people care what becomes of him?

“I certainly do not and I will go to any lengths to end his life.”

A second note detailed how McAtear would wait until the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was in bed before he launched his attack.

The letter to Ian Brady, who killed five children alongside Myra Hindley in the 1960s, expressed the defendant’s ‘fascination’ with him.

At a hearing at Preston Crown Court yesterday, Judge Anthony Russell QC sentenced McAtear to life imprisonment for the ‘protection of the public’ after he had pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

He will not be eligible for parole for at least six years and 134 days.

Even if it is considered that he can be released, he will be on license for the rest of his life.

The court was told that an allegation had been made by a mutual friend of the defendant and the victim that McAtear had touched her inappropriately.

McAtear was worried about how people would see him in light of the accusations, the judge heard.

During the early hours of September 16 last year, the defendant went to the victim’s bedroom and began hitting him over the head with the weapon.

The blows continued and the teenager put his arm up to protect himself.

Prosecuting, Jeremy Gront-Smith said the victim shouted out ‘right that is enough’ and began crying before suffering one further blow.

He was taken to hospital for treatment for a depressed fracture to his skull. In total, he suffered 12 individual injuries to his head.

Mr Gront-Smith said the youngster still suffered from numbness around his skull.

Reading out a victim impact statement, he said: “I was a lot more active prior to the attack, a lot more sociable.

“This has changed since. I have changed from a bubbly, outgoing person and I lack the get up and go I had previously.”

Defending, Mark Stuart said his client was very intelligent and had passed eight GCSEs and had planned to take four science A Levels with the hope of studying medicine.

He said: “This was undoubtedly a wicked attack. To say anything otherwise would be to belittle what happened.

“The only feature of mitigation is that the defendant was prepared to plead guilty.

“A culmination of features probably led to the defendant behaving in the way that he did.”

He added that McAtear had been in care since 2004. He had spent time with foster carers and been put up for adoption before his mother, who was a drug addict, tried to re-contact him.

Judge Russell said McAtear’s intelligence made him ‘more dangerous’.

He said: “There is no doubt that you have had a troubled background and this contributed to severe personality problems.

“You are a high risk of developing mental illness.

“What is of particular concern is that you express no remorse for what you have done.

“You are very much more articulate than many who appear in these courts. In the circumstance of this case, that makes you more dangerous.

“In my judgement, a chilling feature of your case is you composed a letter to Ian Brady expressing your fascination in him.”

Speaking after the hearing, Det Insp Mark Vaughton, of Blackburn CID, said: “The sentence reflects the severity of the ordeal that the victim had to endure.

“This attack was vicious, unprovoked and sustained, leaving the victim seriously injured.

“Whilst he has made a good recovery from his physical injuries he still suffers from mental scars.

“I hope that yesterday’s sentence can bring the victim some closure so that he can start to move on with his life.”

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