A 37-year-old man has been sentenced today at Minshull Street Crown Court to life imprisonment for the murder of William Lound, a Salford University student , who was stabbed to death in his flat in February 2016. He must serve a minimum of 23 years and four months in prison.
At an earlier hearing in July Lee Arnold pleaded guilty to murdering Mr Lound, 30, after going back with him to his flat in the student halls of residence. He stabbed him a number of times with a kitchen knife he found there.
Arnold was homeless at the time, had not been taking his prescribed medication for a mental health condition and there was evidence that he had been taking illegal drugs. The two men met each other at the tented village near Piccadilly station in Manchester, where Arnold was then living and where Mr Lound had become friends with some of the homeless residents.
The day after the murder, Arnold attended a drop-in centre, where he confessed to staff and a police community support officer that he had killed someone and gave them the location of the flat. The police attended and discovered the victim’s body.
The Crown Prosecution Service treated the case as a hate crime as Lee Arnold had shown hostility in his police interview towards William Lound because of his sexuality and this was presented to the court as an aggravating factor in the murder.
Lucy Scully, Senior Crown Prosecutor, CPS North West Complex Casework Unit said: “This is an extremely tragic case, in which William Lound, a kind and trusting young man, lost his life in terrible circumstances. His family and friends have been left devastated by what happened.
“Lee Arnold has admitted that he planned to carry out the murder and accompanied William to his flat that morning with that intention, but it is also clear from the evidence that he had been experiencing a deterioration in his mental health.
“Lee Arnold has pleaded guilty to murdering William Lound and has today been sentenced to life imprisonment. Our sympathies and thoughts are very much with William’s family and friends at this very difficult and distressing time."