Man cleared of friend’s murder

John Leatherbarrow, who was found dead in a flat in Leyland
John Leatherbarrow, who was found dead in a flat in Leyland
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A jury has cleared a man of murdering his friend but convicted him of manslaughter.

Heroin addict Barry Cookson, 41, had stood trial accused of murdering John Leatherbarrow in his home in Westfield Drive, Leyland.

He said he stabbed Mr Leatherbarrow, 37, of Ulnes Walton, near Leyland, but he said it was in self-defence after he attacked him with a hammer on December 18 last year.

But a Preston Crown Court jury took just over one hour to return their not guilty murder verdict and guilty manslaughter verdict.

He will be sentenced on Wednesday morning.