A man who killed his younger brother with a kitchen knife after a drunken row about the way the dog was spoken to has been told he must serve at least 21 years in jail.
A court heard that William Campbell, 26, had been binge drinking vodka in the pub for more than five hours on the evening of 17 June last year. His brother Samuel, 24, had drunk at least a bottle of Jim Beam bourbon and was listening to music in the back garden of the family home in Silksworth, Sunderland.
William arrived home and was told by his mother that Samuel was waiting up to share a drink with him.
Jailing Campbell for life, Judge Paul Sloan QC, the recorder of Newcastle, said what had followed was a “totally insignificant” row. Ha aggiunto: “It would seem that you took exception to the way your brother had been talking to his dog.”
The court heard he went to the kitchen, took a sharp, sheathed knife from a drawer, returned to the garden and stabbed his brother in the chest in the presence of their mother, who had earlier tried to act as peacemaker.
Defending, Nicholas Lumley QC read from a statement provided by the brothers’ father, Eddie Campbell, which described how the pair had grown up extremely close to each other.
“There was sibling unrest, of course there was,” said Lumley. “But for the most part this was a loving, supportive relationship with the two of them sharing a room for so long without serious difficulty.”
tuttavia, the judge said there was a history of violence which “went well beyond spats that can occur between brothers”. He also pointed to William’s initial claims that he had acted in self-defence, followed by testimony that the stabbing was accidental.
A jury at Newcastle crown court last month found Campbell, a council worker of Stokesley, Yorkshire del nord, guilty of murder after a week-long trial.
Afterwards DCI Jane Fairlamb, of Northumbria police, disse: “This is a terribly sad case that has seen a family torn apart in the most devastating of circumstances.”
Di mercoledì, Samuel’s partner, Alice Gray, a teacher, read a statement describing how the murder had “utterly devastated my life and broken my heart beyond anything I knew possible”.
Lei ha aggiunto: “I visit Sam’s grave every day and have done since he passed away. I just can’t sit at home in an empty house when he isn’t there with me.”
Gray said she had been prescribed sleeping pills and antidepressants, which she had been told she may never come off.
The judge said he had no doubt that Campbell, who has autism, bitterly regretted what had happened and wished to atone for it. But he said the minimum term Campbell should serve before a Parole Board could consider him for release was 21 anni.