Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Killer Locked Up for Six Years after Stab Death

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Killer Locked Up for Six Years after Stab Death

Article excerpt

Byline: Gareth Lightfoot Court Reporter

TEESSIDE'S top judge has jailed Craig Conway for six years for the "senseless and wicked" killing of Simon Bennett.

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC said Mr Bennett would not have died if Conway had not met and fought him over a petty row.

Conway, 30, of Epworth Green, Pallister Park, Middlesbrough, admitted manslaughter and was cleared by a jury of murder last week.

He stabbed Netherfields barber Mr Bennett, 29, as they fought in The Greenway, Thorntree, Middlesbrough, on the night of May 8. Mr Bennett, who had known Conway since childhood, died within an hour from "catastrophic" blood loss from a stab wound to his chest, into his heart.

The judge told Conway at Teesside T Crown Court yesterday: "You took the life of Simon Bennett.

"It is quite obvious that Simon Bennett did not deserve to die.

"He died over a petty argument over something of no consequence at all.

"This sentence that I pass cannot begin to compensate his family for their loss.

"It may be the sentence I pass will be considered by them to be wholly inadequate."

He said Mr Bennett left a family who were "devastated by your senseless and wicked act" and a six-year-old son "who will now grow up never to know his father".

"They may never be able to come to terms with their loss," said Judge Bourne-Arton, the Recorder of Middlesbrough.

"You will go through your life - and of course it is noteworthy that you will have a life - in the knowledge that it was you who brought that misery upon that family."

He said jurors either rejected or could not be sure that Conway took a knife to the scene.

He sentenced on Conway's own account that he picked up an unknown weapon from the ground by chance, and excluded the possibility that Mr Bennett brought a weapon.

He said Mr Bennett started the argument and confrontation when he accused Conway of passing on street gossip. "However you did not back down," the judge told Conway.

"You were more than willing to fight him.

him. "You were sober. He may not have been.

"You were sober. He may not have been. …

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