24-year-old, Daniel Liam Ainsley from Harrogate
24-year-old, Daniel Liam Ainsley from Harrogate

Daniel Liam Ainsley jailed for life following murder in Harrogate

26 November 2021

24-year-old, Daniel Liam Ainsley from Harrogate, has been jailed for life and will serve a minimum of 22 years for murdering his friend.

Daniel Liam Ainsley, of no fixed address but was staying in Mayfield Grove in Harrogate at the time of the murder, was found guilty in October of murdering Mark Wolsey, 48, following a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

He was remanded in custody before being sentenced on 24 November 2021.

261 days will be deducted from his sentence, which is the time he has already spent in custody. The court also ordered that he remain on license for the rest of his life.

Mr Ainsley admitted killing Mark, and had previously pleaded guilty to his manslaughter. However, the prosecution refused to accept the plea of manslaughter and he was sent for trial by jury and subsequently found guilty of murder.

Mark died on the night of 5 March 2020 when Ainsley stabbed him several times at his bedsit on Mayfield Grove. Mark had allowed Ainsley to stay with him when he found himself homeless.

On the night of the murder, Ainsley had been taken to hospital by the police to obtain more medication as he claimed that Mark had taken his.

The court heard how Ainsley then went straight from the hospital to an Asda supermarket and purchased a set of kitchen knives. He took out the knife that he murdered Mark with, and discarded the remainder in the street near the store.

He then returned to the bedsit where he stabbed Mark a number of times, leaving the knife in his chest. Mark also suffered a number of superficial wounds, indicative of self-defence. In total he suffered 37 wounds during the attack.

Mark Wolsey, 48
Mark Wolsey, 48

Ainsley admitted what he had done from the outset when he called the emergency services shortly after killing Mark.

He had a history of alcohol and substance abuse and had a complex psychiatric history. He denied Mark’s murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

However, a psychiatrist told the court that his actions were consistent with a premeditated homicide and concealing the weapon in his trousers entailed an understanding that it was wrong.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Superintendent Fran Naughton, Head of Crime at North Yorkshire Police, said:

I am pleased with today’s sentence and that the court previously agreed with the prosecution that this was clearly a case of murder, and nothing less.

My thoughts remain with Mark’s mother, children and his wider family who have had to sit through the trial and listen to the horrific details of his death. Nothing can bring Mark back, but I hope that his loved ones can take some comfort in the knowledge that justice has now been done.

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