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15.2.11

 A MAN who stabbed his friend to death in a row over a mis-spelt text message has been convicted of manslaughter.

Neil Brook, aged 33, of Wilbraham Road, Walkden, was on trial at Manchester Crown Court accused of murdering his friend and neighbour, 27- year-old Josef Witkowski.

The jury yesterday took just over three hours to clear him of murder, but found him guilty of an alternative charge of manslaughter.

The court heard the pair, who had known each other for six months, had fallen out over text messages.

Brook told the police he sent Mr Witkowski a text containing the word "nutter", but, because of his predictive text, it came out as "mutter".

Mr Witkowski took offence and after the pair exchanged a series of increasingly abusive and angry text messages, he went round to Brook's flat.

Brook had taped up two large kitchen knives in his flat—one on the back of his front door and one near his bathroom. He opened the door to let his friend in but said Mr Witkowski flew at him with a knife of his own.

The court heard that Brook grabbed the knife from the back of the door and stabbed Mr Witkowski in the leg, and he took refuge in the bathroom.

Brook continued to attack Mr Witkowski and delivered the killing blow, stabbing him in the chest and piercing his heart.

Mr Witkowski had 104 injuries including cuts, stab wounds, bruises and slice marks on his hands.

Brook was being sentenced today.

Judge Michael Henshell said: "Obviously the sentence will be a long one."

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