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Predictive Text Error Leads to Fatal Stabbing

| 11 Feb 2011 01:36
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A U.K. man has been convicted of manslaughter for stabbing his friend to death after a predictive text error ballooned into an argument and ultimately a vicious knife attack.

33-year-old Neil Brook and his neighbor, 27-year-old Josef Witkowski, had known each other for about six months before getting into a beef over a text message misunderstanding. Brook told police he'd sent Witkowski a text message asking "What are you on about mutter?", "mutter" being "a local colloquialism for a person who behaves in an antisocial or vulgar manner." But thanks to the predictive text on his phone, "mutter" was corrected to "nutter," a slang term meaning "deranged."

Witkowski apparently took offense at this, leading to an exchange of increasingly heated and hostile messages. Finally, Witkowski decided he'd had enough and went to pay Brook a visit. Brook sensed that trouble was in the offing, however, or maybe his idiot friend told him he was coming to get him; whatever the case, Brook taped a large kitchen knife to the back of his front door and stashed another one near his bathroom.

Brook claimed that Witkowski attacked him with a knife when he arrived, so he grabbed the knife taped to the door and stabbed him in the leg. That probably would have added up to an easy claim of self defense had it ended there, but when Witkowski fled to the bathroom, Brook followed him and kept up the attack, eventually killing him with a blow to his heart. The court was told that Witkowski suffered 104 injuries, including stab wounds, cuts, bruises and slice marks on his hands.

The jury cleared Brook of murder charges but convicted him of manslaughter. Nonetheless, he's looking at serious time; Judge Michael Henshell said, "Obviously, the sentence will be a long one."

Sources: The Bolton News, News.com.au

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