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Man found to have unlawfully killed a 62-year-old in Macclesfield

A man who was found to have unlawfully killed a 62-year-old man in Macclesfield has been detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

Joshua Houghton stabbed Paul Cooke multiple times around the head and threw hot liquid over him while inside the victim’s studio flat on Brocklehurst Mews in Tytherington, Macclesfield.

Paul was found by neighbours shortly after the attack, at around 9pm on Friday 20 December 2019, with serious wounds to his head.

He was treated by paramedics at the scene and was taken to Macclesfield District General Hospital where he died a short time later.

The 26-year-old appeared at Chester Crown Court on Friday 6 August 2021 and pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

At Chester Crown Court on Friday 13 May 2022 Houghton was sentenced for unlawfully killing Paul.

The judge ruled that he should be detained at a secure hospital until such a time he is deemed no longer to be a risk to the community.

Houghton had been living at Paul’s home sporadically over a period of 18 months.

On the night Paul died neighbours heard noises and banging coming from his flat and went to investigate.

When they arrived, they saw Houghton fleeing the property leaving Paul in the kitchen area.

The wall and flooring in the kitchen were heavily blood stained.

A frying pan with the handle broken off had blood inside. Remnants of cooking fat were found thrown around the kitchen and damage had been caused to the wall after it was hit at least eight times with the pan.

A bloodstained kitchen knife was recovered with Paul and Houghton’s DNA on it.

An investigation into Paul’s death commenced and a sustained manhunt located Houghton at a local address the following morning where he was swiftly arrested.

Houghton was detained under the Mental Health Act and has since remained in hospital.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Kate Tomlinson said: “Paul was the victim of an extremely violent and terrifying assault by Houghton who attacked him in his own home.

“Houghton then fled the address leaving Paul alone in the kitchen with catastrophic injuries. Those living near Paul and paramedics who arrived shortly afterwards desperately tried to help him however his injuries were too severe and he died not long after arriving at hospital.

“It has been a difficult and long process to get to this stage and secure justice for Paul and his family.

“My thoughts continue to be with them and I want to thank them for their patience over the last three years.”

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