Sunday, 11 December 2011


A frenzied knifeman randomly killed a homeless man after deciding earlier in the day he wanted to commit murder 'to see if he could get away with it.'

Alan Levey scoured the streets looking for a victim for more than an hour late at night until he finally found a man to kill.

The 36-year-old befriended Damian Whyte, known as Tottenham Paul to his friends for his love of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, at a soup kitchen and lured him to a secluded island on the River Thames where he stabbed him 25 times.

On the 12th October 2011 Levey, wearing a khaki jacket and brown shirt, was jailed for a minimum of 24 years.

Reading Crown Court heard the killer told a neighbour after the attack it was like 'putting a knife through butter.'

Levey had told a friend just hours before: 'I'm going to stab somebody, I'm going to look for him now.'
    Levey and Mr Whyte walked side by side chatting until they reached the isolated island where he turned on him.

    He left Mr Whyte, aged 34, screaming in agony on View Island, in Reading, Berkshire late on February 22 after repeatedly stabbing him with an eight inch blade.

    Levey returned to his flat where he showered and set about disposing of his clothes. He had earlier dumped the knife in the river.

    Prosecutor Ian Acheson told he court that while at the flat Levey told a friend: 'I just stabbed someone 30 times. I only stopped stabbing him because he was crying for his mummy.'

    When neighbour James Belshaw suggested checking if Mr Whyte was all right, Levey said: 'He's dead. He's bleeding out of his eyes and nose and everything. I stabbed him in his guts. It was like putting a knife through butter.'

    Murder scene: Levey left Mr Whyte screaming in agony on View Island, in Reading, pictured, after repeatedly stabbing him with an eight inch blade
    Murder scene: Levey left Mr Whyte screaming in agony on View Island, in Reading, pictured, after repeatedly stabbing him with an eight inch blade

    Mr Acheson told how Levey had planned to kill another homeless man who was wheelchair-bound and sold the Big Issue outside a library, but turned his attention to Mr Whyte when he couldn't find the magazine seller.

    Levey, of Reading, Berkshire, admitted a charge of murder yesterday at what was supposed to be the first day of his trial.

    Mr Acheson told Judge Zoe Smith: 'This was an utterly random and utterly motiveless murder. The only possible reasoning behind it, which comes from the mouth of Levey, is when he told a witness that evening he had decided to kill someone.

    'It seems it mattered not who that person was. He wanted to see what happened and if he could get away with it.

    'He said to a friend earlier in the day 'I'm going to stab somebody, I'm going to look for him now'.

    He also asked another friend: 'If you could, who in Reading would you have killed?'

    'He told this friend that he wanted to kill a man by the name Alan Matey who sold the Big Issue from his wheelchair and slept rough outside the central library.

    'He walked around central Reading for an hour before the killing. CCTV would be consistent with him looking for that person. It was, in essence, a search of the area.

    'This was a murder which was planned, albeit with someone else in mind but with the intention of murder committed to see what would happen and to see if he could get away with it.'

    Timothy Raggatt QC, defending, told the court that before changing his plea to guilty, Levey had been assessed by a psychiatrist who determined that he was suffering from a personality disorder.

    'This man has an abnormality of the mind and a serious long term personality disorder linked with a long term history of substance abuse, linked with a background of abuse as a child in various forms,' he said.

    Mr Raggatt added that although Levey stabbed his victim more than 25 times, not all the wounds would have led to his death.

    'Many of the wounds are, in clinical terms - and I stress the word clinical - superficial and non life-threatening,' he said.

    'Of course there are wounds that led to his death.'

    Mr Whyte was found the following morning by a horrified dog walker, lying in a pool of blood and in the recovery position on a footpath on the island.

    Levey handed himself in to police two days after the murder. He told detectives he and Mr Whyte had been walking by the river and had become involved in a heated argument about football and lashed out with the knife.

    He was arrested and later took police officers to where he had dumped his clothes and the knife.

    He had originally denied murder based on a psychiatric defence but changed the plea at the opening of his trial.

    Levey has previous convictions dating back to 1989 and in 1998 was jailed for three-and-a-half years after repeatedly stabbing a man.