Bradley Wood: London man jailed for life for fatal stabbing of 'best friend' Lee Hatley in Dalston

Lee Hatley's family once gave Wood shelter

Lee Hatley named Wood as the killer minutes before he died

Friday, December 1, 2017

A man has been jailed for life for the murder of Lee Hatley in Islington.

Bradley Wood, 25 and of no fixed address, was sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 28 years at the Old Bailey today (December 1).

Wood was found guilty of the murder of 29-year-old Hatley at the Old Bailey on Tuesday November 28.

He was also found guilty of assault causing grievous bodily harm against a 22-year-old woman, and sentenced to 15 years to run concurrently.

The stabbing took place in the early hours of June 26 at a property on Baxter Road, near Dalston Junction station.

Officers and London's Air Ambulance attended and found 29-year-old Hatley - who was known to family and friends as Lee J - and a woman suffering stab injuries. Police were subsequently called at around 2am.

The two victims were both taken to an east London hospital where Hatley later died. A post-mortem examination found cause of death to be stab injuries. The woman remained in hospital for a number of days for treatment to stab wounds and is still recovering from her injuries.

Detectives from the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command began an investigation and quickly identified Wood as a suspect.

A manhunt was launched and a media appeal asking the public for information to find Wood was issued on June 29. Wood handed himself into Islington police station the following day where he was arrested, before being charged on July 1.

During the trial Wood, who previously worked for Islington Council, described Hatley as his best friend, and jurors heard that Hatley's family had given him refuge at their home in Barnsbury when he was a homeless teenager. Wood also claimed the killing had been an accident during a scuffle provoked by Hatley.

However prosecution witnesses told the court that Wood had been "jealous" of the man he went on to kill, and had served several spells in prison.

The court also heard that Hatley had named Wood as his killer after crawling round to a neighbour's house as he reeled from the stab wounds.

Following the sentencing, Hatley’s family said in a statement: “As a family, we will never get over the loss of Lee. He was a larger-than-life character and the fact he was loved by so many was demonstrated when more than 300 people came to his funeral.

“Not only has Bradley Wood robbed us of a son and brother but his own son, Nicky, will never know his father growing up.

“As a family, Lee's loss has brought us even closer together and together we will ensure that his memory lives on. Together we will ensure Nicky knows all about what a wonderful father he had from the great tales we will tell him."