Black-eyed murderer stabbed his mum's elderly former partner to death in "frenzied" attack

-Credit: (Image: GMP)
-Credit: (Image: GMP)

A murderer who stabbed his mum's elderly and "defenceless" former partner to death in his own home "for no discernable reason" has been told he will likely spend the rest of his days behind bars.

Andrew Hall, 59, knifed Geoffrey Ives four times in a "frenzied" and "savage" attack at his friend Mr Ives' flat in Heywood where he left him to die in a pool of his own blood.

Hall, who the court heard was drunk and "possibly under the influence of drugs", then went to an off-licence where CCTV showed him laughing and joking with the shopkeeper and "acting as if nothing had happened."

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Still armed with two knives, including the murder weapon, he then smashed his way into his former partner's home in Middleton before being bravery tackled by her teenage son, restrained and arrested. In his police mugshot, Hall is sporting a black eye and brusing he suffered during the struggle.

Hall denied murder and aggravated burglary but was found guily after a trial. He was today (Wednesday) sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 26 years and seven months. Given his age, the judge said it was "possible he will spend the rest of his life in prison."

Geoffrey Ives -Credit:PA
Geoffrey Ives -Credit:PA

Mr Ives was previously in a relationship with Andrew Hall's mother Mary, who died around 2006. The relationship between Geoffrey Ives and Andrew Hall, described by prosecutors as a friendship, was "generally a good one" the trial heard.

But on the night of January 27 last year, Hall left his sister's home on Crown Road in Heywood, where he had been living, armed with two knives, a "stanley-type" knife and a "vegetable knife."

Filled with "pent up anger and frustration" he walked to Mr Ives flat on Hardfield Road where Mr Ives let him in just before 10pm. Once inside he "'repeatedly stabbed him to the face and neck with force."

The opening of the trial was told Hall was to say that he "has no memory (of the incident) and so cannot explain what happened in that flat between those times, but he will assert he had no ill-will towards the deceased and will not have intended to cause him really serious harm or death."

A police cordon in place at Mr Ives' flat on Hardfield Street in Heywood on February 5 last year -Credit:Vincent Cole - Manchester Evening News
A police cordon in place at Mr Ives' flat on Hardfield Street in Heywood on February 5 last year -Credit:Vincent Cole - Manchester Evening News

The prosecution said the motive for the killing was "not entirely clear" but that Hall's "pent-up anger and frustration meant it may be, that Geoffrey Ives didn't have to do too much wrong for this defendant to lose his dangerous temper."

Immediately after leaving Mr Ives' flat, Hall got a taxi which took him to the ZK Off Licence on Hollin Lane in Middleton, close to his ex-partner Julie Proctor's home, arriving at 10:27ppm.

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Hall and Ms Proctor had been in a relationship since 2018 but within months he 'began drinking and becoming paranoid, including repeatedly asking about her former partners" the trial was told.

The jury heard that in October of 2022, Ms Proctor ended their relationship "due to his obsession with her former partners and associated unsettling behaviour."

He "didn't take the ending of that relationship well" and sent abusive messages, so was charged with, and convicted of, three offences of harassment in December 2022. As a result, he was made subject to a restraining order which prohibited him from contacting Ms Proctor or going to her address

But he walked there from the off-licence, arriving just before 11pm and "smashed his way" in through the conservatory door. Ms Proctor was out for the evening but her five children, the youngest being four-years-old, were inside.

Hall then went upstairs looking for Ms Proctor, threatening those who were in the house with the two knives, including the knife he had used to stab Mr Ives just an hour before. He was bravely tackled by Ms Proctor's eldest child, 22-year-old Jack Dunleavy as his sister Chanice Longshaw rang police with the audio of the 999 call played in court.

The break-in was "indicative of how focussed Mr Hall the defendant was on violence that night" After being arrested at the burglary, Hall told officers he had been "settling old scores" that night but refused to give them further details, which the judge said amounted to "teasing them."

Mr Ives was described by loved ones as a "kind" and "well-liked" man
Mr Ives was described by loved ones as a "kind" and "well-liked" man

At this point police were unaware of Mr Ives' death. His body was not found until the evening of Sunday, January 29, after a neighbour said she had not seen him for several days and the lights were on in his flat, which was 'unusual.'

Police forced entry at 7:45pm and entered with paramedics where Mr Ives was found 'slumped' in front of his sofa. With detectives 'not armed with all the information' his death was initially ruled to be non-suspicious before a post-mortem two days later 'found the stab wounds to the neck that suggested this was a suspicious death."

Gordon Cole KC, defending Hall, conceded during his sentencing at Minshull Street Crown Court on Wednesday morning that there were "no mitigating features."

He said: "He knows it's going to be a very long prison sentence. He's 59 and he knows the ramifications of that. He knows he will spend probably the best part of the rest of his lie in prison."

Forensics at the scene after the killing -Credit:Vincent Cole - Manchester Evening News
Forensics at the scene after the killing -Credit:Vincent Cole - Manchester Evening News

Passing sentence, Judge Maurice Greene said: "Geoffrey Ives was a man who had been good to you. He had allowed you to live at his flat when you had nowhere else to go. And for no discernable reason, other than telling the police you were 'settling old scores', you stabbed him four times.

"This was a sustained attack and I have no doubt you intended to kill Mr Ives. You left, with him either dying or dead, and went to an off-licence. And CCTV showed you acting as if nothing had happened.

"In breach of a restraining order, you went to the home of your former partner. You smashed your way into the house intending to cause really serious harm, probably on Julie Proctor, had she fortuitously not gone out for the evening."

Judge Greene said Mr Ives', who the court heard was a regular at The Dressers pub, was a "kind man" who was "well known" and "undoubtedly well-liked" in the local area.

"He allowed people to use his flat. He was vulnerable and it may well be he was used by some people on the estate" he said. "But people also used to look out for him and bring him meals and make sure he was alright."

Hall was linked to the crime after a lengthy police investigation -Credit:Vincent Cole - Manchester Evening News
Hall was linked to the crime after a lengthy police investigation -Credit:Vincent Cole - Manchester Evening News

The judge said Mr Ives' family were "clearly devastated by their loss" and told Hall "they will have to live with the consequences of what you have done." There was a degree of breach of trust as Mr Ives knew you, and allowed you into his flat, in no way anticipating what was about to happen.

"It's clear there was some planning though I am not convinced there was a significant degree of planning and pre-meditation. This was a sustained and savage attack in Mr Ives own home, and by your own admission you were under the influence of alcohol and possibly drugs at the time."

Following his conviction, Joanne Cunliffe, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “Andrew Hall is clearly a very dangerous man who was prepared to threaten and use violence against anyone he crossed paths with that night.

“After carrying out an unprovoked knife attack on the man who he considered a friend, he left him to bleed to death, took the murder weapon to his ex-partners home and threatened to hurt her family with it if they did not tell him where she was.

“We worked closely with the police to build a strong case against him. After carefully considering the evidence we presented to the jury, including extensive CCTV footage and forensic evidence, they have today found him guilty of the offences he faced.

“My thoughts are with the family and friend of Geoffrey Ives at this difficult time, and with all those affected by his violent actions that night."