Thug who murdered suspected love rival with a claw hammer jailed for life

A jealous thug has been sentenced to life in jail after admitting the cold-blooded murder of his love rival in a vicious claw hammer attack, PlymouthLive reports.

Anthony Brinton, 43, attacked defenceless Adrian Cieslik in his own home because he thought he was having an affair with his ex-partner.

The dad-of-two smashed the 34-year-old's skull with at least nine blows, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

He will serve at least 28 years in jail before he is considered for parole.

Brinton claimed that Mr Cieslik had attacked him first with the weapon after he had gone to his flat in West Hoe, Plymouth, Devon, in January.

The defendant said he had only gone to the property to talk to his ex-partner Emma Tozer, who shared a flat with the victim as friends.

Brinton, who had drunk four or five pints that night, said he wrestled the weapon from Adrian and then lost control. He claimed that he had "blanked out" and could not recall the attack in Cliff Road nor its aftermath.

Adrian died on March 22 more than two and a half months after the attack.

Brinton appeared at Plymouth Crown Court charged with murder. He admitted manslaughter on the opening day of the hearing on Monday last week.

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But Judge Peter Johnson said that there was not enough evidence for the defence of loss of control – the only one available to Brinton.

The defendant was then re-arraigned and pleaded guilty to murder.

Simon Laws, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the evidence was that Brinton had taken the claw hammer to the flat on January 12.

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Judge Johnson told him: "You launched a wicked and brutal attack upon him, you struck him to the head with considerable force, leaving him mortally wounded.

"I am satisfied that you intended to kill him. There was no loss of control.

"This was done in cold blood.

"You tried to blacken Mr Cieslik’s name with your fiction about him. You have not shown one jot of remorse for what you did.

"His loss will prove a permanent void to those who loved him."

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Adam Vaitilingam, defending Brinton, suggested that the attack had not been planned and argued that it was not certain he had taken the claw hammer to the scene. He argued that the defendant had no way of knowing that Mr Cieslik was in the flat alone.

Adrian was found by Ms Tozer when she returned from a night out clubbing.

The court heard that the flatmates had slept together once or twice but agreed to remain friends.

Ms Tozer and her sister Naomi Gotthardt were initially arrested on suspicion of assault.

The judge added: "You did your very best to evade justice. You were happy when Miss Tozer and her sister were arrested.

"You were happy to lie to this jury and change your story until you were left with nowhere else to go."

In a recorded phone conversation, Brinton later said of Mr Cieslik: "I hope he dies, if he does not die then he should go the gas chamber at Auschwitz."

The former Nazi concentration camp is in Mr Cieslik’s home country Poland.

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