Bradley Wood found guilty of murdering ‘best friend’ Lee Jay Hatley in Canonbury knife attack

Bradley Wood is accused of Lee Jay Hatley's murder. Picture: Met Police

Bradley Wood is accused of Lee Jay Hatley's murder. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

Bradley Wood has been found guilty of murdering best friend Lee Jay Hatley in Canonbury.

After a five-day trial, an Old Bailey jury was released at 11.50am yesterday and came to a verdict this afternoon. He will be sentenced on Friday.

Dad-of-one Mr Hatley, 29, was stabbed to death after a night of drinking and smoking cannabis in friend Lauren Egan-Perkins’ flat in Westcliff House, Baxter Road, on June 26.

It comes after a trial in which Wood, a former Islington Council worker, said Mr Hatley was his best friend. When homeless as a young teenager, Wood had been taken in by Mr Hatley’s family in Morland Mews, Barnsbury.

Prosecution witnesses alleged Wood, who had been in and out of prison during his adult life, was “jealous” of Mr Hatley.

The court also heard how Mr Hatley, seriously injured from 29 stab wounds, had knocked on neighbour Chris Petersen’s door pleading for help. Mr Petersen recalled how when he asked who did it, Mr Hatley kept repeating Wood’s name.

Wood’s defence was that the incident was an accident during a scuffle.

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Wood, who was said to have drunk less and smoked less cannabis than Mr Hatley, was eager to leave the flat, the court heard. With Mr Hatley taking his time, Wood said he jokingly threatened to slash the tyres on Mr Hatley’s “expensive” bicycle. He claimed that Mr Hatley “flipped” and grappled him while still holding the knife in his hand.

Wood was also convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Following the verdict, Angela Moriarty, reviewing lawyer at CPS London Homicide, said: “Lee Hatley was subjected to a savage and unprovoked attack by Wood who had armed himself with a knife. Having repeatedly stabbed Lee Hatley, Wood then attacked the female victim, who had been asleep in bed. She sustained wounds including to her neck.

“Thankfully, she survived to give evidence at the trial that ultimately convicted Wood. There was no apparent motive for either attack.”