UK teen Brian Healless has received a life sentence in prison for the stabbing death of a male teen he met via Grindr. He won’t be eligible for parole for at least 24 years.
Healless, of Chorley, Lancashire, met Alex Davies on Grindr and Healless told Davies he was “not out yet” so suggested meeting in a “discreet” location halfway between their two homes in Parbold Hill in Lancashire. Both men were 18-years-old.
The Guardian reports Healless reportedly punched and kicked his victim in the face several times before stabbing him 128 times. He then dragged Davies face down through the mud while still alive and covered his body with leaves and branches. The coroner reported Davies died of asphyxiation due to the stabbing wounds
He was identified thanks to surveillance video showing him riding his bike away from the scene of the crime with Davies’s backpack.
Davies’ body was discovered on May 1 and the authorities arrested Healless on May 3 at his home where the victim’s cell phone, wallet, and headphones were found.
During his trial, Healless’s attorneys defended his actions citing Healless had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but the jury rejected that defense. They came back with a guilty verdict on Monday.
At his sentencing, Judge Mark Brown dismissed the idea that Healless’s mental state was diminished saying, “I am satisfied that such was the planning, premeditation and the nature of the killing that your culpability is not reduced significantly.”
“You lulled him to his death and executed the killing in a savage way,” continued Brown. “You were undoubtedly setting him up to kill and you are a manipulative, calculating and devious person.”
Healless was so calculated he took a kitchen knife with him to the rendezvous, stole Davies’ cell phones, and erased their histories.
According to reports, he reached out to at least four other men on Grindr after Davies’s murder and could have killed them as well, but detectives discovered his identity and stopped him before another attack could happen.
Safety is becoming a serious issue for dating app users as Instinct has reported on several past incidents of victims being lured into violent situations via Grindr before.
Last summer, Demetris Nelson shot two men he met on the dating app in Detroit resulting in death for one victim and serious injuries for the other. Police described the shooting as a robbery gone wrong.
And earlier this year, Mark Latunski was arrested for the murder of 25-year-old hairstylist Kevin Bacon, whom he met on the dating app.