AN ANGLER who killed his best mate while they were fishing together, has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

As exclusively reported by Angler’s Mail in May, the close pals and work colleagues went carp fishing together to Claremont Farm in Merseyside and got into a fight after taking drugs.

The day ticket fishery actually bans night fishing but the pair decided to fish at the venue near the picturesque Clatterbidge area of the Wirral where Steven Gerrard and other Liverpool football stars own properties.

Local Christopher Davies, 28, then drowned his best friend Barry O’Reilly, from Birkenhead, Merseyside, after suffering a ‘sudden and unexpected outbreak of violence’ from smoking cannabis that was laced with the legal high ‘spice’.

Davies (pictured) faced a murder trial but his plea of guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of ‘loss of control’ after claiming he had no idea he was smoking spice, was reluctantly accepted by the prosecution.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the pair wrestled before Davies repeatedly punched the 37-year-old and held his head underwater.

A witness, Mr Hagan, told the court that Davies approached him and said: “Call the Police mate. Not being funny, am in a different world. Been given spice by my best mate. I think I’ve killed the man.”

He and Davies then dragged Mr O’Reilly out of the water and tried to give him CPR.

Davies later told Police he feared for his life and said: “He gave me spice, I was on my knees in the water and he was laughing at me, I hit him.”

He added: “It’s not murder, I was fighting for my life.”

Toxicologists found both men smoked cannabis and ‘spice’, but could not say when the drugs were taken.

The defence lawyer said the killer thought he was going to die when he took the drug and felt like he had a black vortex in his head.

He said Davies did not suggest Mr O’Reilly bore him any ill will by giving him the drug and the case highlighted the perils of illegal drug use.

Ten days after the offence, it became illegal to produce or supply ‘spice’, but not to use it.

Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, after hearing how the death had had a profound effect on the victim’s family, particularly his 14-year-old son by a former partner, sentenced Davies to seven years imprisonment and recommended that possession of ‘spice’ be made an offence.

This is just a short version of the full story that appeared in Angler’s Mail printed magazine. Get the magazine every week for top tips, big news, best products, and venues that are in form.

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