Man jailed after being found guilty of manslaughter

Man jailed after being found guilty of manslaughter

Victim Stuart Smith

First published in News

A 23-year-old Tyldesley man who stabbed another young man to death in a revenge attack was today put behind bars indefinitely.

A judge told Daniel Walker: "You are a highly dangerous individual who does not pause before committing acts of violence."

"I have no hesitation in finding that you represent a significant risk of causing serious harm."

Judge David Aubrey said that the fatal incident on May 7 happened after Walker, of Devon Road, had lost a fight with the victim Stuart Smith during which no serious injuries were inflicted.

"You perceived, as did all those who witnessed it that you had come off second best. That is something you were not prepared to accept and in my judgement you are the sort of individual who doesn't wish to be seen losing face.

"You went to your house, got a large kitchen knife with a blade at least six inches long and came out onto the street and struck your victim twice with the knife.

"Once to the neck and the other to the left side of the chest. You then proceeded to chase the dying man before he collapsed and died and you fled from the scene taking that knife with you," he said.

He told Walker, who showed no emotion, that it was obvious that it was a highly dangerous act and pointed out that in December he had also gone out onto the street with a knife and threatened a neighbour with it.

Also at the time of the manslaughter Walker was on licence from a 40 month sentence for robbery and affray and in 2009 was given a custodial sentence for inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Judge Aubrey said that it was obvious that a pattern of offending behaviour was emerging that Walker was unwilling to address.

Walker had been cleared by a jury of murdering Stuart Smith earlier this month but convicted of manslaughter and possessing a knife.

"A young man has needlessly lost his life and for so many members of his family a part of them has died with him," said Judge Aubrey.

"You took a knife out onto the street and took it in order to use it and struck the defendant who was presenting no threat whatsoever to you."

Imposing an indeterminate sentence for public protection he ordered that Walker must serve six years before he can apply for parole.

During his trial a jury at Liverpool Crown Court heard that 23-year-old Mr Smith died after one of the stab wounds penetrated his heart and left lung.

Stuart Lawson-Rogers, QC, prosecuting, said that a few weeks before the tragedy there had been an altercation between the two men after it had been suggested Mr Smith fancied Walker's girlfriend but since that time all had seemed well between the two men.

On the evening of May 6 a number of people, including the two men, were socialising in a house in Devon Road but in the early hours of the morning Walker approached Mr Smith and asked if they "were sorting this out". After he agreed they went outside to fight during which they both just suffered minor injuries.

Walker went home and returned with the knife and the tragedy occurred. The victim had managed to get to a house in Rutland Road where he collapsed outside. He was taken to hospital but was pronounced dead at 5 am that morning.

Simon Medland, QC, defending, said today that Walker has written letters expressing his regret. "He did not intent really serious harm and certainly did not intent to kill.

"He expresses in his own words this was something which if he could change he would and that Mr Smith did not deserve to lose his life and that everyone's life is important.

"He has a supportive family and they are good people," he added.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Reade from the Major Incident Team said: "Walker had a personal issue with Stuart following an argument a few weeks before and took it upon himself to 'resolve' the situation. Sadly this led to Mr Smith's untimely death.

"He did not like the fact that Stuart had got the better of him during the fight and decided he would take his revenge by stabbing him in the torso before he proved how cowardly he is by running away. When he realised that our investigation was closing in on him he decided to hand himself in to police.

"The local community were horrified by Walker's actions and stood together to support the police investigation and give evidence. They played a large part in helping us to secure this conviction today and I thank them for their support.

"Walker's reckless and needless actions have left Stuart's loved ones without a son, grandson, uncle, cousin, brother and friend. I hope the time he spends behind bars makes him realise the pain and upset he has caused."

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