A MAN who killed a “much-loved” grandfather after bludgeoning him to death with a hammer has been jailed for life.

Lee Whitlock, 53, will have to serve at least 18 years in prison after he admitted murdering 61-year-old Robert Farley in his Barry flat.

The defendant attacked his victim after “losing it” when he was drinking with him last September.

Stuart Trimmer QC, prosecuting, told Cardiff Crown Court: “A significant weapon was used in the killing. It took place in the victim’s home.

“He used a hammer to kill Mr Farley. The hammer has never been found.

“It is clear it was disposed of by this defendant."

He added Witlock had said another man "might be responsible for the attack".

Mr Trimmer said Whitlock had previous convictions with the most relevant being a 40-month jail sentence for robbery from 2015.

He told the court how the defendant had attacked his victim, who he was living with, with a baseball bat and demanded cash.

That complainant suffered a head injury and a broken arm.

“It seems the defendant takes advantage of vulnerable people and exploits them for money,” Mr Trimmer added.

Sarah Jones QC, representing Whitlock, said: "This was an unplanned incident, the two were drinking together as they have many times before and an argument began, during the course of which (the murder) was done.

"The weapon was taken from the windowsill of Mr Farley's flat and was not taken to the scene by Mr Whitlock."

She added that her client had struggled with alcohol problems and his mental health.

The court was asked to take his guilty plea into consideration.

Judge Daniel Williams told Whitlock: “Mr Farley, known as Bob or Bobby, was 61 when he died.

“The court has read that he was a much-loved brother, a loving father and grandfather.

“He is described by one of his sisters as a gentle and loving man.

“He was a placid man who avoided confrontation.

“In happier days, before alcohol had taken a hold of Mr Farley’s life, he was clearly a practical man and sociable with a large circle of cherished friends.”

Whitlock, of West Walk, Barry, will have to serve a minimum tariff of 18 years and one month before he is eligible for release.