Bury St Edmunds: Man jailed for 22 years for screwdriver killing

A FORMER Territorial Army soldier has been handed a 22-year prison sentence after being found guilty of murdering a man during a row about a dog.

Mark Turner, 49, of Cockfield, used a screwdriver to stab Robin Lionnet at his home in Ashwell Road, Bury St Edmunds, in the early hours of February 21.

He had denied murder but was found guilty in August at the end of a two-week trial.

Mr Lionnett had lived alone with his dog Max in Ashwell Road since the end of 2009 when his relationship with partner Claire Keeble ended.

Ms Keeble and her two daughters had moved in with Turner but Mr Lionnet had kept the family dog.

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The court heard Turner, a member of the TA for 13 years, had gone to Mr Lionnet’s home to take back the dog without prior warning.

He had turned up at about midnight and demanded that Mr Lionnet hand over the pet but a confrontation followed and he stabbed Mr Lionnet once in the chest with a screwdriver he had taken from his van.

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He then left with the dog and sat in the van, where he was found by police responding to the incident.

At court he had denied deliberately stabbing Mr Lionnet and said that he had not realised he was injured. Mr Lionnet was taken to West Suffolk Hospital where he later died.

During the trial, the jury was told that Mr Lionnet suffered from asthma and emphysema, which had contributed to his death.

Dressed in a dark suit, Turner showed no emotion as Judge John Devaux handed down the sentence in courtroom two of Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.

The judge told Turner that he was reducing the sentence from the 25-year starting point as he found there to be mitigating circumstances surrounding the incident.

Turner was told he must serve 22 years, minus 216 days already served on remand, before he could be eligible for parole and would remain on licence for the rest of his life.

After the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Steve Mattin, said it had been a “tragic case” where an argument led to a violent attack which took the life of a man.

He said: “Our sympathies remain with the family and friends of Mr Lionnet. Crimes of this severity are extremely rare in Suffolk and in this case, both men were known to each other, with no threat being posed to the wider community.

“The case highlights the danger of committing acts of violence and the tragic outcomes they can result in. Disputes that end in violence can have severe consequences and we are committed to ensuring that anyone responsible for this type of crime is held fully accountable for their actions.”

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