Pictured: Man who beat his friend, 43, to death after seeing ex-lover
Pictured: Man who beat his friend, 43, to death after catching him having sex with his ex-lover, 23, in a playground – as victim’s daughter says ‘he didn’t deserve what happened to him’
A man who was found guilty of beating his friend to death after catching him having sex with his ex-girlfriend in a children’s playground has been pictured.
Kyle Morley, 29, was jailed for life yesterday after he brutally ‘punched, kicked and stamped’ on David Bettison, killing the 43-year-old in a park in Hugglescote, Leicestershire, on February 24.
Morley also pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent after he attacked and knocked unconscious his ex-partner Katie Lamb, 23, when finding the two victims alone together.
Speaking out after the conviction, for which Morley will serve a minimum term of 18 years and six months, the family of Mr Bettison, known as Did, admitted they are ‘living a nightmare’.
Mr Bettison’s 15-year-old daughter, Gracie Mae Brown, said: ‘These past few months since my dad’s death have been the worst time of my life. The pain, the horrible pain, has stuck with me since Friday 24 February and will forever be a part of me.
‘I know my dad was not perfect, but he didn’t deserve what happened to him and neither do his family. He was taken from us so cruelly and way too soon and we now have a lifetime of living without him.’
Kyle Morley, 29, (pictured) was jailed for life yesterday after he brutally ‘punched, kicked and stamped’ on David Bettison, killing the 43-year-old in a park in Hugglescote, Leicestershire, on February 24
Speaking out after the conviction, the family of Mr Bettison (pictured), known as Did, admitted they are ‘living a nightmare’
Mr Bettison’s mother, Jackie Haines, said: ‘When Did died something inside me died with him. There is no pain like a mother losing a child. Only people who have gone through this devastation can really understand how it feels.’
She revealed her devastation that none of them were able to say goodbye because of the ‘brutal and tragic’ way he was killed, which continues to ‘haunt’ her.
She admitted: ‘I have restless nights imagining his last moments and what he went through. I have nightmares and I wake and wish this whole thing was just one big nightmare, but it’s not, we are living the nightmare.
‘As a family we have tried to pull together at the worst time of our lives but this past nine months have been very difficult.
‘There have been a lot of tears and grief and we know there are so many more years of heartache and missed milestone to come. Every future family occasion will be tainted with sadness, and we will have to learn to live with that.’
Mrs Haines added that since the death of her son, ‘it has become clear’ how many friends Mr Bettison had. She expressed her thanks to her community, saying the family were ‘overwhelmed with support’ which has brought ‘some comfort’ during the ‘horrendously difficult’ time.
In the lead up to Morley’s conviction, the court heard how he had been out for drinks with Mr Bettison and two other friends before the night of his murder on February 24.
On his walk home at around 2am, Morley came across Mr Bettison and his ex-girlfriend, Katie Lamb, having sex in a children’s play area.
Morley quickly charged at them, the court heard, and punched 23-year-old Ms Lamb in the face, ‘knocking’ her out.
He then attacked Mr Bettison, who made no attempts to fight back at the time.
Morley repeatedly ‘punched, kicked and stamped’ on Mr Bettison causing severe facial injuries.
Police were called just after 2am after a resident close to the park in Ashburton Road was woken by the sound of a woman in distress.
Officers responded and discovered Morley standing over the 23-year-old woman and Mr Bettison unresponsive nearby – both had significant facial injuries.
Police cordon at Ashburton Road Recreation Ground in Hugglescote, Leicestershire where Mr Bettison was found dead
They immediately began CPR while urgent calls to the ambulance service were made. But due to the severity of his injuries, Mr Bettison was pronounced dead at the scene.
The official cause of death was detailed as ‘blunt force trauma to the face.’
Ms Lamb suffered severe bruising and swelling to her face as a result of the attack but was discharged from hospital after treatment.
Following his arrest, Morley gave Leicestershire Police a prepared statement in which he said he accepted assaulting Mr Bettison but denied intending to cause him serious injury.
He added in his statement that he was ‘heavily intoxicated’ and had been taking class A drugs.
Prosecutor Michael Brady KC previously told the jury: ‘The defendant ran to them and punched her with sufficient force she was rendered unconscious.
‘She remembers being on the ground, watching the defendant punching David Bettison, who was also on the ground. Mr Bettison was not fighting back and his face was covered in his blood.
‘She heard David Bettison making “rattling noises” which, from her experience working in an old folks’ home, made her think that he was going to die.’
The jury in the case had been sent out to begin deliberating on Friday and returned their unanimous guilty verdict on Tuesday morning, finding Morley guilty of murdering Mr Bettison.
After the jury foreman announced the guilty verdict, Morley, of Whitwick, near Coalville, sat with his head in his hands, sobbing loudly.
Judge Timothy Spencer KC sentenced Morley to a lifetime in jail, with a minimum term of 18 years and six months.
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