Wolverhampton murderer must serve another eight months for beating taxi driver

Wolverhampton murderer Brian Willington will have to serve another eight months after his life sentence has finished.

Brian Willington
Brian Willington

Willington, serving a life sentence with a minimum 21 years for stabbing to death grandfather Martin Latham outside Heath Town ASDA, was in court again for his part in a previous vicious attack on a taxi driver in October 2020.

Victoria Hopkins, 51, of Wednesfield Road, Heath Town, and killer Brian Willington, 33, battered a defenceless taxi driver and snatched his keys from the ignition after an argument about the terms "darling" and "love" being used.

Last month, Hopkins was handed a suspended 11-month sentence for the taxi driver assault but Willington was sentenced today at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

Sentencing Willington to eight months for the driver assault to run consecutively with his current life sentence, the Justice Simon Ward pointed to 10 violent former convictions.

The taxi driver had described his fear of leaving the house and the shock and upset caused by seeing CCTV footage of the sustained attack on his head and body, the court heard.

Justice Ward said: "Taxi drivers by the jobs very nature are very vulnerable. They work alone and at night and are vulnerable. You have an appalling record of violence. This is why your sentence is to run consecutively not concurrently."

The judge left the charge of robbery on file.

After entering jail Willington has turned over a new leaf, his lawyer Aimee Parkes explained, by getting clean from drugs and alcohol.

She said: "Brian is now in the system and is getting used to being a lifer. He has a positive outlook despite his circumstances. He has been getting the support of his girlfriend and family."

However, Willington will not be able to enjoy his better relations with his girlfriend and family for another two decades.

She said: "With time served he is not eligible for parole until September 2044."

The day he murdered Mr Latham, September 6, 2021, he had been hanging around ASDA and intermittently drinking and taking drugs.

Mr Latham and Willington then began fighting in front of the superstore, with Mr Latham getting the better of the younger man. However, Willington then "saw red" and stabbed Mr Latham in a frenzy.

Willington, who denied two charges, was convicted of murder and possessing a bladed article in May following a trial for Mr Latham's death.

Willington was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 22 years for murder, which was reduced to 21 years and 120 days taking into account the 245 days the defendant had spent on remand.

The 33-year-old, of Hawkley Close, Moseley, Wolverhampton, was handed no separate penalty for possession of a bladed article.

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