A DETECTIVE who investigated the murder of Craig Barker has said he did not deserve to die.

After attacking family dog Leo, Nathan Davis, 26, sliced the neck of 47-year-old Mr Barker at his home on Cleatlam Close in Hardwick, Stockton, severing a major artery and forcing him to slump over the bath covered in blood. He died later.

Davis was found guilty of his murder on Tuesday.

Speaking after, Senior Investigating Officer, Temporary Detective Chief Inspector, Mark Dimelow, of Cleveland Police said: “In the early hours of Sunday 22nd July 2018, Craig Barker, 47, also known as Craig Slater was brutally attacked in his home and sadly he died days later in hospital.

“A murder investigation was launched and officers began looking for a suspect, Nathan Davis, who was eventually caught and arrested outside the Cleveland area.

“Throughout Nathan’s arrest and the trial, he attempted to escape justice, refused to take responsibility for his actions and he has continuously denied the charges made against him. This has caused further and avoidable stress for Craig’s family.

The Northern Echo:

The scene of the murder. Top right, Nathan Davis and bottom left Craig Barker

“Today the court has deemed Nathan guilty of the murder of Craig Barker and he will now be held accountable for his actions. 

“A dedicated team of officers has worked tirelessly in a bid to bring Nathan to justice and today they have succeeded in doing this.

“Craig did absolutely not deserve to die; he had done nothing wrong but unfortunately he became victim of the violent and devastating actions of Davis.

“Nothing will ever bring Craig back to his family, however I hope that today’s conviction brings some form of comfort to them, knowing Nathan will be behind bars for a very long time.”