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Man jailed for life for Nelson murder

|News, Violent crime

Naeem Mustafa, 46 from Nelson, has been jailed for life for the murder of Michael Brierley, 48, in Nelson in November 2021.

Naeem Mustafa was a frequent and often unwelcome visitor at Michael Brierley's home in Berkeley Close, Nelson, which he shared with his partner, for whom he was full time carer.

On the evening of 7 November 2021, Mustafa attended the address and stayed overnight, as was often the case. The following morning he carried out a sustained attack upon Mr Brierley. When Mr Brierley's partner asked him to stop the attack or he would kill Michael, Mustafa punched her, knocking her to the floor and causing her significant injuries before he continued the assault on Michael.

The post mortem examination on Michael Brierley's body stated the cause of death as head, chest, upper and lower limb injuries, which included broken bones, lacerations and bruises consistent with heavy blows from weapons as well as kicks and stamps.

In her Victim Impact Statement Michael Brierley's mother described him as 'a kind, gentle soul who would always put others before himself, he was a carer for his partner and a friend to many. He was generous with his time and money. He didn't have many possessions and wasn't financially well off but what he did have he would share with others.'

Naeem Mustafa was jailed for life for murder and must serve a minimum of 27 years. He was also given 42 months' imprisonment for inflicting grievous bodily harm which he will serve concurrently with the life sentence.

Emma Kehoe, for the CPS, said: "Naeem Mustafa is a violent bully who exercised control over Mr Brierley and his partner in their own home. He visited their home, often with strangers, taking it over as if it was his own. If they did not let him in he would threaten to break down the door. He took control of their money and had previously assaulted them both on a number occasions.

"That fateful day last year his violence escalated to the point where he inflicted fatal injuries on Mr Brierley and, when his partner tried to help, she was knocked to the floor resulting in a black eye and a bleed on the brain.

"In police interview, Mustafa claimed he was not a violent man, but we presented strong evidence to the jury, including CCTV, telephony and forensic evidence, and they agreed with the prosecution case and found Mustafa guilty of the offences he faced.

"Our thoughts are very much with the family and friends of Mr Brierley who are mourning him. We hope that as Naeem Mustafa begins his prison sentence they will feel that justice has been served."

Notes to editors

  • Emma Kehoe is a Senior Crown Advocate for CPS North West

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