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.”
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.