A man stabbed his drinking buddy in the neck, head, and body almost 50 times in a ferocious attack before attempting to dismember his tied up body.

David Thompson-Love battered Maurice Bennett with a kettle and tin of food before using a multiple weapons to stab the 54-year-old to death in his Middlesbrough flat.

When he was found by his victim's family, he was still holding a knife and said “I’ve done wrong haven’t I?”

The 37-year-old went out to buy a hacksaw, cleaning products and alcohol before returning home to try and dismember his friend’s body while the hacksaw blade was upside down.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Thompson-Love plunged a knife and potato peeler into Mr Bennett, known as Moza, while his hand was tied to his leg.

The Northern Echo: Maurice BennettMaurice Bennett (Image: Cleveland Police)

Nick Dry, prosecuting, said the bloody scene was found by Mozza’s partner and sister when they became concerned when they couldn’t contact him on April 7 this year and later found him dead in the defendant’s flat.

“He was restrained whilst urinating on those trying to detain him and continuing to do so when police arrived to arrest him,” he said.

“A post-mortem identified more than 60 injuries to the deceased including 48 separate stab wounds to the head, face, and neck. There were six stab wounds to the chest as well as multiple wounds to the abdomen, right shoulder, and forearm.

“The jugular vein had been completely severed. There were two fractured ribs from him being kicked or stamped.

“There was evidence of several weapons being used including sharp knives, a potato peeler, a can of food, and a kettle.”

The Northern Echo: Cleveland Police at the scene of Maurice Bennett's murderCleveland Police at the scene of Maurice Bennett's murder (Image: Michael Robinson)

He said there was evidence that some of the injuries had been caused when Mr Bennett was either restrained, unconscious, or dead.

Mr Dry said the defendant used his disabled friend’s car to go to the shop to buy the hacksaw and cleaning products before a failed attempt was made to dismember the body and clean up the scene.

He said Thompson-Love would rely on his victim and his family to the extent that they even made him his Christmas dinner.

Thompson-Love, of Oakrise, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to murder when he appeared in court in June.

Peter Makepeace KC, mitigating, said his client was intoxicated at the time of the brutal assault on his ‘only friend’ and has been diagnosed with a mental health condition resulting in him having little recollection of the fatal attack.

“We accept the ferocity of the violence in this case and accept that is an aggravating feature,” he said.

“We submit that the efforts made to dispose of evidence was so hopeless and ineffectual and illogical that they speak more about the drunken state of mind rather than attempt to avoid detection.”

The Northern Echo: David Thompson-LoveDavid Thompson-Love (Image: Cleveland Police)

Judge Paul Watson KC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, passed a life sentence and told the defendant that he would serve a minimum of 18 years and four months in custody for the "utterly inexplicable and astonishing" murder.

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“You had inflicted on Maurice, a sustained, pitiless and ferocious attack over a long period of time. This was not merely a lashing out in a heated and drunken argument, this was persistent, determined and deliberate violence over a period of time," he said.

"There were 48 stab wounds to his head and six to his neck. The jugular vein was virtually severed and there was clear evidence of kicking and stamping.

"You used a variety of weapons including knives, a potato peeler, a can of food and a kettle.

"Moza had been restrained by a ligature to his left ankle, which was tied to his wrist. I don’t know when, in the narrative of this brutal and senseless killing, that occurred."