Brinklow teen who stabbed man in heart jailed for manslaughter - The Rugby Observer

Brinklow teen who stabbed man in heart jailed for manslaughter

Rugby Editorial 25th Jun, 2019 Updated: 26th Jun, 2019   0

A TEENAGER who killed an unarmed young man by stabbing him through the heart has been told he will have to ‘bear that responsibility’ for the rest of his life.

Levi Whitmore-Wills, 19, of Coventry Road, Brinklow, near Rugby, was jailed for seven years after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of 23-year-old Patrick Hill during an incident at a Coventry flat in February.

Whitmore-Wills entered his plea, which was accepted by the prosecution, as he had been due to stand trial at Warwick Crown Court on a murder charge.

Prosecutor Annabel Darlow QC said Mr Hill was stabbed in the chest while he and his brother were at the home of Whitmore-Wills’s girlfriend in Earlsdon.

She said Mr Hill and his younger brother had spent the afternoon and evening of Saturday February 9 together, and had bought alcohol at various shops before visiting the home of a man in Earlsdon.

While there, they stole items including the man’s Playstation, which they planned to sell to buy cocaine.

After leaving, they encountered Whitmore-Wills and his girlfriend, and Whitmore-Wills agreed to buy the Playstation for £50.

But while they were all at the flat at around 2.20 in the morning, ‘the situation turned sour’ after Whitmore-Wills had difficulty finding his bank card, and an argument broke out.

As things escalated, Whitmore-Wills headbutted Mr Hill to the face, and he dropped to the floor.

Mr Hill’s younger brother told Whitmore-Wills if he wanted a straight fight they should go outside, but he instead produced a knife which he held by his side.

The court heard it was an eight-inch hunting knife with a 4-5-inch blade.

“He didn’t threaten them, but said he didn’t want any trouble, and for them to leave,” said Miss Darlow.

Mr Hill’s brother left, and had got to the communal stairway when Patrick ran past him, holding his chest with both hands and saying he had been stabbed.

The brothers left the block and Patrick collapsed on the grass, as Whitmore-Wills told his girlfriend they had gone, and that he had stabbed one of them.

“He was standing there with the knife, with blood on it and on his hand,” said Miss Darlow.

Patrick Hill, who had been stabbed in the chest, with the knife going through his lung and into his heart, was rushed to hospital and underwent emergency surgery, but he never regained consciousness, and was pronounced dead on February 13.

Whitmore-Wills later said Mr Hill had gone for him, so he hit him, and did not realise at the time that he had stabbed him.

Rachel Brand QC, defending, said: “It is perfectly clear this was utterly unpremeditated. He did not mean to cause really serious injury.

“When it became clear to him that he had, he exhibited true, genuine remorse. This is someone who bitterly regrets what happened.”

Referring to a statement from Mr Hill’s grandmother, who had raised the brothers and described his death as ‘having broken her,’ Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said: “Such is the loss that the utterly senseless killing of this young man who had so much to live for has caused.

“You must bear that responsibility for the rest of your life.”

He said Whitmore-Wills had a history of violence which included assaults on social workers while he was in care, ‘but nothing of the gravity of this.’

Of what happened in the flat, he said the first violence had come from Whitmore-Wills headbutting Patrick Hill, and then arming himself with the knife, and when Mr Hill’s brother picked up a pair of scissors he kicked them from his hand.

Judge Lockhart continued: “You stabbed him once with that fearsome knife. I fully accept you did not intend to cause him really serious harm, but that knife went into his chest with severe force and into his heart.

“I accept you have shown real and genuine remorse. Even in the police car you were concerned and asked about the state of Patrick Hill.

“But only a sentence of detention can be passed to reflect the fact that a life has been lost.”

After sentencing Whitmore-Wills, the judge commended police officer DC Joanna Rainsford, adding: “This case has been conducted with real dignity, and the investigation is one that has been carried out with real fairness.”

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