Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Remorseless Killer Is Locked Up; YOU'VE SHOWN NO REGRET AT ALL, JUDGE TELLS MAN WHO USED KNIFE TO COMMIT MURDER

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Remorseless Killer Is Locked Up; YOU'VE SHOWN NO REGRET AT ALL, JUDGE TELLS MAN WHO USED KNIFE TO COMMIT MURDER

Article excerpt

Byline: By GARRY WILLEY

KILLER Lee Cruddas showed no trace of remorse for the savage stab attack which left Robert Richardson bleeding to death.

The teenage thug already had a kitchen knife hidden under his T-shirt when he tried to goad the 33-year-old tyre fitter and his brother Christopher to fight.

Cruddas used the weapon to smash the window of their van as they tried to drive away.

Then, after leaning through the shattered glass, he plunged the blade nine inches into driver Mr Richardson before walking away and wiping the bloodstained knife on a bush.

Mr Richardson was able to keep driving from the scene of the stabbing in Kirkley Close, Fawdon, but within moments he collapsed.

His distraught brother watched as paramedics tried in vain to save him.

Cruddas, 19, from Great North Road, Gosforth, gave himself up to police the day after the killing on September 21 last year.

He denied murder, claiming he had been protecting his sister Donna - Mr Richardson's girlfriend - and only brandished the knife to frighten him.

But a Newcastle Crown Court jury took little more than one hour to find him guilty at the end of a two-week trial.

An imposing a life term with a minimum of 12 years before Cruddas can even be considered for parole, Mrs Justice Cox said she had seen not a single sign of regret.

"I reject any suggestion you were provoked or that you were acting in self-defence," Justice Cox said.

"Having observed you during this trial, I have to say I have not seen any evidence of any remorse whatsoever."

Justice Cox said she accepted Cruddas - who already had a record for violence including assault and wounding - did not lash out to kill. But she told him: "When you stabbed him with that kitchen knife you did so intending serious injury.

"I have no doubt you were the aggressor.

"However angry you were at Robert's verbal abuse towards your sister, it did not begin to justify you brandishing and then using that knife against him."

Cruddas had shown no emotion behind the glass-fronted secured dock of court number six as the jury returned their guilty verdicts. …

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