A RUGBY man died after being stabbed to the heart when he turned up armed with a metal pole to confront a teenager he had clashed with earlier that day.
Ethan Tucker was originally charged with the murder of Cain Jackson – but later pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to an alternative offence of manslaughter.
Tucker, now 18, of Meadow Road, Rugby, who had entered his plea on the basis he had acted in excessive self-defence, was sentenced to four years and four months detention.
Prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith told the court via a video conferencing facility that Mr Jackson had died from a single stab wound while he was on the drive of Tucker’s home on October 31 last year.
Mr Grieves-Smith said: “About an hour before he died Cain Jackson had been in a car with his mother on the way to the shops when the defendant rode his bike in front of them, quite wrongly.”
Mr Jackson’s mother sounded her horn, in response to which Tucker made a one-finger gesture – at which 24-year-old Mr Jackson got out of the car and the two of them began to fight.
His mother tried to separate them and got struck by Tucker, and as the fight continued Mr Jackson tried to throw Tucker off the bridge they were on.
Tucker struck out with a pocket knife he was carrying, although no injury was caused, and fled the scene.
Mr Jackson, angry about what had happened, made his way to the Tucker’s house carrying a steel pipe. Tucker came out armed himself with a large kitchen knife.
During a struggle Tucker ‘used that knife to lethal effect,’ and Mr Jackson fell to the ground fatally wounded, dying from a single stab wound which penetrated the lung and his heart.
An ambulance crew was unable to save him, and meanwhile Tucker, who had ‘a significant head injury,’ had gone to hospital where he was arrested.
Mr Grieves-Smith said Tucker had no previous convictions, but Mr Jackson was on licence from an eight-year sentence he had been given in 2015 for wounding with intent.
Rachel Brand QC, defending, said: “He was struck several times by the deceased using that metal pole. He had been threatened and attacked by him before, and he knew he had a previous conviction for a very serious offence.
“In the heat of those few moments that’s when the defendant’s actions converted from having a right to defend himself to crossing that line and using excessive force.”
Miss Brand said that afterwards Tucker, who ‘bitterly regrets’ what happened, went to his biological father who took him to hospital and contacted the police to tell them where they were.
Sentencing Tucker, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano explained that if he had been an adult, he would have been facing an eight-year sentence – but, in accordance with guidelines, that was reduced because of his age and his guilty plea.