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Man jailed for murdering former friend

2023-06-01 17:10:11 source:CBS News author:news click:421order

A man who stabbed his former friend to death has been sentenced to a minimum of 22 years in prison.

Jamie Mitchell, 25, was sentenced to life for murdering Steven Wilkinson in Buckley, Flintshire, on 4 October 2022.

During the trial at Mold Crown Court, Mitchell, of Lexham Green Close, Buckley, said he began carrying a knife after his house was attacked.

Judge Rhys Rowlands told Mitchell his crime was "a cowardly attack carried out by a pretty inadequate young man".

"Steven Wilkinson's last moments must have been quite terrifying," said the judge.

"You clearly are a very dangerous individual, capable of the most extreme violence against a young man who had done nothing to you."

Mr Wilkinson was described by his family as having an enthusiasm for life, with laughter following him wherever he went.

His mother, Lisa Wilkinson, began to read a victim impact statement to the court, before becoming overcome with emotion.

She said: "My life has been ruined and it will never be the same again. Not only did I lose my son, I lost my best friend. He filled my life with joy every day."

Mr Wilkinson's grandmother, Jeanette Wilkinson, also read a statement to the court, saying: "My brain is tormented by Steven's death… my heart has been shattered into a million pieces."

The court heard Mr Wilkinson was "pursued, cornered and intentionally stabbed" by Mitchell.

Michael Jones KC, prosecuting, said during the trial that Mr Mitchell "purposefully" left his house with a kitchen knife on the night of 4 October.

His window had been smashed and he wanted to look for the culprits.

Though Mr Wilkinson had nothing to do with it, he was spotted by Mitchell as he walked home from a night out, who then chased him into a courtyard at sheltered housing in Jubilee Court, and stabbed in the chest.

Mr Wilkinson was left with "catastrophic" and ultimately fatal injuries, jurors heard.

He was given first aid by friends who came to look for him, but he later died at Wrexham Maelor hospital.

Mitchell's friendship with the victim broke down when he began dating Mr Wilkinson's sister.

Ceri Ellis-Jones, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said the case was a "reminder of how dangerous knives are when taken into public places, and that tragedy can often result".

"Steven's life was violently taken from him, and his loss is deeply felt by his family and friends who continue to be in our thoughts."

Det Supt Mark Pierce from North Wales Police said the case demonstrated "if you carry a knife and attack somebody, the court will come down heavily on you".

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