Justice Served

Teen murderer of young gay man sentenced to 24 years in prison

Alex Davies

Brian Healless, the 18-year-old British man convicted of murdering fellow 18-year-old Alex Davies, a gay man, will spend the next 24 years in prison for his crime.

Judge Mark Brown labeled Healless a “cold-blooded killer,” and rejected arguments by Healless’ attorneys that he should receive a reduced sentence. Healless’ lawyers had argued that the killer suffers from schizophrenia and therefore deserved a reduced sentence.

“You were messaging him on Grindr and Instagram for the purpose of meeting him at a remote location,” Brown told Healless in the sentencing. “You were undoubtedly setting him up to kill and you are a manipulative, calculating and devious person.” Brown also called Davies a “kind-hearted, gentle and hard-working young man who would never have harmed anyone.” He then added: “He had just been promoted at work and will never have the chance to fulfill his potential in life.”

Related: A murderer in Nigeria says he can’t be gay because he’s a plumber. Really.

Healless met Davies last April on Grindr, advising Davies that he was not out and preferred a discreet hookup in a remote location. Upon meeting, Healless attacked Davies, punching and kicking him in the face as well as stabbing him 128 times. The stabbings and beatings didn’t actually kill Davies; rather, he asphyxiated as Healless dragged him face down through mud. Police found his body two days later.

A search of Healless’ home revealed that he had targeted numerous men on Grindr with a similar pretense. Data on his computer also uncovered that he had researched how to wipe the memory of a cell phone–the same model as Davies’–and vulnerabilities in the skull. In his sentencing, Judge Brown noted these facts, and accused Healless of targeting gay men as a potential serial killer.