Ipswich window cleaner awaits murder sentencing

IPSWICH: A former Ipswich window cleaner is due to receive a mandatory life sentence today for murdering a young man.

Andrew Rowlands, who lived in Ipswich and Felixstowe before moving to Sudbury, will discover the minimum jail time he will serve before he can apply for parole, when he appears at Ipswich Crown Court.

As the 27-year-old awaited his fate a former friend told how, in a tragic irony, Rowlands left Manchester for Suffolk to get away from trouble and make a better life for himself.

However, he only succeeded in taking the life of 23-year-old Lewis Watson and destroying his own.

Last month Rowlands, of The Croft, Sudbury, admitted intending to stab Mr Watson, of Rubens Road, Sudbury, to death.

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Prior to moving to Sudbury, Rowlands had lived in Ipswich in Station Street and Macauley Road, as well as Felixstowe.

While in Ipswich, he worked for a local window cleaning company and was a familiar face on his rounds in areas such as the Dales and Grove Lane.

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Rowlands’ former friend said: “Andrew had got into trouble as a kid in Manchester, just fighting and stupid things. He had a bit of a temper on him.

“He wasn’t aggressive as in looking for a fight, but if someone fronted him up he wasn’t shy about standing up for himself.

“He was highly-strung, but a bit of a live wire.”

Another friend said they were shocked when they heard Rowlands had murdered Mr Watson.

The friend said: “I was surprised. Drew was a friendly, likeable person and didn’t seem to be the sort of bloke to carry a weapon. He was very outgoing. He would spark up a conversation with anyone.”

However, they also said Rowlands had a temper.

The friend said: “He would start a fight with anyone, even if they just looked at him the wrong way. He was always scrapping with people. Drew would definitely act before thinking.”

Emergency services were called to Cavendish Way in Sudbury at 12.16am on Saturday, September 26, after Mr Watson, sustained fatal stab wounds.

He was taken to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds but died an hour later.

Minutes after Rowlands fatally wounded Mr Watson, he calmly walked into a fast-food shop, ordered a pizza and borrowed a mobile phone to tell police what he had done, according to a witness.

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