Chilling answer would-be killer gave police when he tried to murder sleeping housemate

James Brown admitted attempted murder (Picture: MEN/PA)

A man tried to kill his housemate by strangling him with a belt in his sleep and told police he had ‘no idea’ why he launched the attack.

James Brown also tried to suffocate the man with a pillow but the terrified man begged him: ‘Stop – you are going to kill me.’

After the victim fell unconscious Brown stopped what he was doing, dialled 999 and told the emergency services: ‘I have just tried to kill somebody.’

He later said that he had ‘absolutely no idea’ why he acted in the way that he did, Hull Crown Court heard.

The 31-year-old admitted a charge of attempted murder.

Charlotte Baines, prosecuting, said Brown and the victim both lived in the same premises in Buckingham Street and they had known each other for about two months.

They got along well but, when Brown had been drinking, his attitude would change and he would become argumentative and aggressive.

On the day of the incident, both men had been drinking cider. They watched a film on TV and the other man fell asleep at 2.30am. He woke up and could not breathe.

‘He looked up and saw the defendant standing over him,’ said Miss Baines. Brown had hold of a belt and was tightening it around the man’s neck.

There was a look of anger on Brown’s face that scared the victim.

The man told Brown: ‘Stop – you are going to kill me.’ He tried to shove Brown away but the defendant did not stop pulling the belt tighter until the man lost consciousness.

When he came round, he saw that Brown had a pillow, which he was pressing down on the man’s face. ‘He felt himself losing consciousness,’ said Miss Baines.

Brown stopped the attack and ran into the kitchen and began to cry. He telephoned 999 and said: ‘I have just tried to kill somebody.’

He admitted strangling the man with a belt and putting a cushion on his face.

When asked why he had tried to kill the man, he said: ‘Honestly, I have absolutely no idea.’

The victim did not want the police to become involved. He was taken to a Bransholme medical centre but he refused to go to Hull Royal Infirmary because he did not want to wait.

‘He did obviously think that he was going to die,’ said Miss Baines. ‘There was no evidence of any long-lasting effect or significant effect.’

She said of Brown: ‘There is no evidence of any premeditation. This appears to have been a spontaneous attempt to kill. He made the call to the emergency services.’

Brown was sweating heavily when police spoke to him and he seemed to be in a state of shock. He was arrested but made mainly no comment replies during police interview, apart from saying that he was ‘p***ed off and upset’ at the time.

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