Brendon Willis sentenced for the murder of Christopher Butler on New Year’s Eve

15/07/2016

Brendon Willis, 33, of no fixed address was sentenced today to life imprisonment at Winchester Crown Court for the murder of Christopher Butler, 27, of no fixed address who was killed on New Year's Eve at a flat in Southsea (Portsmouth), after being killed with an axe. He will have to serve a minimum of 18 years before being eligible for early release.

Following the sentence, Gavin Sumpter, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex said: "This is a tragic case, where a young man, Christopher Butler lost his life at the hands of Brendan Willis who on New Year's Eve 2015 attacked Mr Butler by hitting him up to 25 times with an axe in what was a premeditated, extremely violent and gratuitous attack."

"Whilst Brendon Willis was in prison in 2015 he confided to a psychiatrist that he was concerned he might hurt someone. Shortly before Christopher's murder he told others that had been wondering what it would be like to murder someone saying 'I want to see what its like to kill someone. I've got an axe. I want to do it before New Year, I want to be famous... Blame it on Spice. You smoke it and it makes you go mad. It makes you violent'. Spice was a name of a legal high that Willis was using at the time of the murder. It has since been made an illegal psychoactive substance"

"We hope that this conviction and sentence will provide Christopher's family with some kind of comfort but acknowledge that this will never bring him back. Our thoughts are with them."