October 20, 2008 / 12:44 PM / 10 years ago

Cannibal chef jailed in UK for lover's murder

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A chef who murdered a lover and ate part of his flesh after cooking it with fresh herbs and olive oil was jailed in Britain for at least 30 years on Monday.

Anthony Morley in an undated photo. REUTERS/West Yorkshire Police/Handout

Sentencing Anthony Morley to life, British judge James Stewart said the murder was one of the most gruesome he had ever encountered and reminiscent of a scene from a work of fiction.

“Not only did you murder your victim by cutting his throat and stabbing him, but you cut him up, cooked him and ate part of him,” Stewart said, according to the UK Press Association.

“Before this case I had associated cannibalism with eras long gone, with the tale of Robinson Crusoe. No longer. You have plumbed depths rarely encountered in our court.”

Morley, 36, a former winner of the Mr Gay UK contest, stood in the dock with his head bowed as he was sentenced. There was a cry of “murderer” from the public gallery at Leeds Crown Court.

The jury heard how Morley attacked Damian Oldfield, 33, in Leeds in April after they went to bed together. Morley, who had denied murder, said he feared he was going to be raped.

He carved a section of flesh from Oldfield’s thigh and another from his chest. Six pieces of cooked human flesh were found on a chopping board in Morley’s kitchen.

Herbs, olive oil and seeds were found on the work surface near the cooker and a frying pan was on the hob with the remnants of fried herbs and oil in it.

A section of flesh, which appeared to have been chewed, was found in a bin bag.

Morley was arrested after he walked into a takeaway restaurant and said he had just killed someone.

“Thankfully disturbing crimes of this type remain incredibly rare events,” said Detective Inspector Scott Wood, of West Yorkshire Police, who led the investigation. “None of the investigation team has been involved in a crime of this nature before.”

The victim’s mother, Denise Oldfield, said her son had been killed “in the cruelest of circumstances.”

Reporting by Peter Griffiths; editing by Steve Addison and Paul Casciato

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