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Man gets 16 years for 'ferocious' Norwich murder

PUBLISHED: 15:00 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:00 29 November 2019

Peter Bruton. Pic: Norfolk Constabulary

Peter Bruton. Pic: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A man has been jailed for the "callous and cruel" murder of 39-year-old James Greene in Norwich earlier this year.

James Greene with his sister Faye. His family have issued a statement following the conviction of Peter Brunton who was found guilty of murder/manslaughter. Picture: supplied by the Greene family/Norfolk ConstabularyJames Greene with his sister Faye. His family have issued a statement following the conviction of Peter Brunton who was found guilty of murder/manslaughter. Picture: supplied by the Greene family/Norfolk Constabulary

Peter Bruton, 27 and of no fixed address, was sentenced to 16 years in prison at Norwich Crown Court today (Friday 29 November) after being found guilty by a jury earlier this week.

Bruton had been staying at James Greene's flat in Dolphin Grove when he attacked him on the evening of Tuesday, June 4.

Officers were called to the address just before 10pm after reports of a disturbance at the flat and on arrival they found James Green unresponsive.

He was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital where he died on Thursday 6 June of multiple organ failure as a result of asphyxiation.

The flat where James Greene was fatally attacked. PIC: Peter Walsh.The flat where James Greene was fatally attacked. PIC: Peter Walsh.

During the trial the court heard how James Greene had fabricated a story to extort £10 from Peter Bruton. Witness evidence described how this plan developed into a heated argument and resulted in Mr Greene sustained what would be fatal injuries.

Bruton did not turn up for his sentencing hearing but the case carried on in his absence.

He was given a life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum term of 15 years and 191 days.

Jailing Bruton, Judge Stephen Holt said: "You have not shown the slightest sign of regret or remorse. The words you spoke to police at the scene and in interview were chilling.

"You sought to manipulate the court and try and get the trial stopped thus prolonging the stress and anxiety of James' family who were in court. A case that should've taken five days took 12. You demonstrated complete indifference to the verdict by yawning. You are absent from court today.

"Your act in killing James Greene was thoroughly callous and cruel."

Speaking after sentence, Detective Inspector Neil Stewart said: "Today's sentence reflects the mindless and brutal ferocity in which Peter Bruton inflicted fatal injuries on James Greene. Throughout this trial not only have James's family had to withstand hearing first-hand accounts from neighbours, recalling the chilling details of their loved one's last moments. But they have also to endure Bruton's numerous attempts to frustrate and disrupt the criminal process which started at his first hearing back in June and has continued throughout this trial with his repeated refusals to come to court.

"Our thoughts are with them today in the hope that they can rebuild their lives following the conclusion of this trial and that they will take some solace from the fact that Bruton will not be eligible for parole for many years".

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