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Courtney McLeary and David Francis, from Bingham, given life sentences for the murder of Davices Anderson in Nottingham

Two men have been given life sentences for the murder of a man who was stabbed to death in a flat.

Courtney McLeary, aged 54, and David Francis, aged 61, had previously been found guilty by a jury of murdering 22-year-old Davices Anderson following an eight-week trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

Today (Monday, April 29, 2024) they were handed life sentences over the fatal attack.

Davices Anderson. Image: Nottinghamshire Police.
Davices Anderson. Image: Nottinghamshire Police.

McLeary was told he will serve 19 years and Francis will serve 16-and-a-half years before they can apply for parole.

Davices was found lying injured in a doorway of a flax complex in High Cross Leys, Nottingham city centre, on the morning of 28 April 2023.

Police officers and paramedics administered first aid at the scene. Davices was taken to hospital where, despite the efforts of medical staff, he died later that morning from a single stab wound to the chest.

Following an extensive investigation, police charged McLeary, of High Cross Leys, and Francis, of Swale Grove, Bingham, with his murder.

Three other suspects, 51-year-old Gregory Bailey, 50-year-old Danny O’Keefe, and 45-year-old Lisa Barlow, were charged with assisting an offender.

Bailey, of Comyn Gardens, St Ann’s, and O’Keefe, of Keswick Court, Sneinton, were found guilty of assisting an offender.

They were both jailed for two years.

Barlow, of High Cross Leys, pleaded guilty to assisting an offender. She was also given a two-year prison sentence.

The court heard that Davices, Francis, McLeary, and Barlow were in the flat when Davices was set upon by McLeary and Francis and fatally stabbed.

When he was interviewed by police, McLeary accepted that he had a knife in his hand and he ‘may’ have stabbed Davices while they were wrestling on the floor.

After the incident, Davices fled the flat before he collapsed to the floor in the communal entrance foyer to the complex.

Minutes later, McLeary and Barlow were seen stepping over him before they left the building.

Following today’s sentencing at Nottingham Crown Court, Davices' family paid tribute to him.

Their statements said: "Life changed on 28 April forever.

Image: Nottinghamshire Police.
Image: Nottinghamshire Police.

“No-one expects to bury their child but to lose him in such a horrific way is heartbreaking beyond measures. The pain that is felt in all our hearts on a daily basis is a physical ache that never leaves.

“Davices was everything.

“He was a bright boy, very respectful, strong, and had an amazing funny character.

"He was a caring boy who doted on his family. He always tried his best to please. His soul was bright, now he is the brightest star in the sky looking down on us all every day.

“Dav’s life was taken at just 22-years-old - a life that was just beginning.

“Life for us all will never be the same. Blowing kisses up to you - our son, brother, nephew, grandson, and daddy - forever 22.

“We feel constant anger at the brutality in which our loving brother Davices was taken. It was so cruel.

“Davices never deserved what happened to him. He was a beautiful brother, friend, uncle, and father, willing to help anyone.

"Davices was kind, funny and caring. He was someone who could instantly light up a room and had a smile that was so contagious you'd never think he was battling his own personal demons.

“Davices loved football and could have had a successful career.

“We all hate what's happened to Davices and how his death has shaped us.

"Our brother was the most beautiful person but was also very vulnerable. He could be too trusting which resulted in him being groomed and mentored by elderly drug users who eventually took his life. He was let down and he will be missed forever.”

The court heard that after McLeary and Barlow had left the flat complex following the stabbing, the pair went to Bailey’s house.

Bailey claimed during his police interview that he didn’t know that McLeary and Barlow ‘had done anything’ and that he wasn’t aware that Barlow had left her blood-stained bright pink coat behind at his address.

McLeary and Barlow had also attended O’Keefe’s address after the stabbing.

When interviewed by police, O’Keefe admitted they had been to his home and that he knew McLeary was wanted for murder. He said he was scared of McLeary, so was unable to alert police.

Speaking after the group were sentenced, Detective Inspector Clare Gibson, of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “Davices’ brutal and senseless murder has left his family and friends completely devastated. We know nothing can make up for their loss.

“Following the attack on Davices, McLeary and Barlow left the scene of the crime, callously stepping over a dying man. They deliberately tried to evade capture by the police and to prevent the natural course of justice.

"Meanwhile, Francis remained at the scene and purported to be the Good Samaritan, when in fact he wanted to create confusion, control the narrative, and evade prosecution.

“For Davices’ family and friends, their lives will never be the same again, but I hope today’s outcome brings them some degree of closure now these offenders have been brought to justice and sentenced for their crimes.”

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