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Man found guilty of girlfriend’s murder after drugs binge

Michael Marler will be sentenced on Friday.

A man who stabbed his girlfriend to death before jumping from a window onto a car and attacking passers-by has been found guilty of her murder.

Michael Marler, 37, had admitted stabbing Danielle Richardson, 24, in her face, neck and back in a Manchester city centre apartment while on a “drugs spree” but denied that he intended to kill her.

On Thursday, a jury at found him guilty of murder, a spokesman for Manchester Crown Court said.

Marler, of Brideoak Street, Oldham, had been out to the cinema and shopping with Miss Richardson, 24, in the evening of February 12 before returning to the apartment in Ancoats, where they were staying while her house was being redecorated.

The pair had both smoked cannabis and used a crack pipe to take cocaine before her death, the court heard.

The following morning, at about 7.30am, CCTV footage showed Marler landing on a car parked outside the flat after jumping 25 feet from a second-storey window.

Dripping in blood he tried to steal the car before hitting and kicking a number of vehicles, punching and biting a passer-by and attempting to get into another car, the court heard.

When police were called they noticed blood on the window of the flat and went inside, where they discovered Miss Richardson face down on the floor of the kitchen and living room area.

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A screengrab of Michael Marler gesturing after jumping on to a car (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Giving evidence, Marler, who admitted manslaughter, said he had no recollection of stabbing his girlfriend, jumping out of the window or attacking motorists and pedestrians.

In a police interview, he said: “I loved the girl, I actually loved her to bits. I like to think I’m a nice person.

“I don’t even kill a spider.”

The case was referred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) due to contact Greater Manchester Police had with Miss Richardson over the two-year period before she died.

A spokesman for the IOPC said the investigation was ongoing.

Marler is expected to be sentenced on Friday.

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