Knife attack man guilty of murder

A HEARTBROKEN mother wept in court yesterday as the man who killed her only son by stabbing him in the back was found guilty of murder.Joan Westmore gasped as the foreman of the jury at Chelmsford Crown Court delivered the unanimous verdict – taking less than an hour to decide Dean Martin had killed her 31-year-old son, Piers, in a cold-blooded and unprovoked assault last December.

A HEARTBROKEN mother wept in court yesterday as the man who killed her only son by stabbing him in the back was found guilty of murder.

Joan Westmore gasped as the foreman of the jury at Chelmsford Crown Court delivered the unanimous verdict - taking less than an hour to decide Dean Martin had killed her 31-year-old son, Piers, in a cold-blooded and unprovoked assault last December.

Martin, 25, showed no expression in the dock. He will be sentenced by Judge Christopher Ball, QC, today .

Outside the court yesterday, Mrs Westmore, said she had been "praying" for a guilty verdict and added: "This was a wicked, callous attack on our dear son who didn't stand a chance. My son had his whole life in front of him.


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"We at least got the decision we wanted and will try and live our lives as Piers would have wanted and to see his children grow up."

Senior investigating officer Det Insp Peter Orpe, of Essex Police said "justice has been done".

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He added: "This was a cowardly and unjustified attack on Piers Westmore from behind. Quite rightly, the jury returned a guilty verdict. This has been a tragedy for both families."

Martin, who had a criminal history of violence, claimed he had no recollection of his drunken assault in Guithavon Street, Witham, during the early hours of Sunday, December 14.

The court heard Martin, formerly of Holly Walk, had been drinking throughout the previous day and had invited himself into a private party at the Crown Pub in Guithavon Street, where father-of-two Mr Westmore was celebrating a friend's birthday.

The jury heard that Martin, a father, had approached Mr Westmore, of Osbert Road, asking for a dance only to be told: "You've got the wrong bloke, mate, I'm not like that."

After continuing to upset guests, Martin was told to return to his mother's house, where he lived.

But, instead, he went to the home of his estranged girlfriend, Vicky Vango, and after being refused entry, he broke in.

It was while there that he might have stolen the murder weapon, which has never been found, the prosecution suggested during the trial.

He left Miss Vango's home but minutes later, crying, he called her to say someone had been threatening him and that he was "fed up with being treated like this".

He told her he was "going to get him first".

Shortly after midnight, he went back towards the Crown pub and saw Mr Westmore heading towards a taxi rank with his long term partner, Michelle.

He ran up to him and plunged what was likely to have been a long, thin knife into his back. It caused a fatal seven-inch wound, which pierced a lung and Mr Westmore's heart.

The 31-year-old victim collapsed and died soon after.

In another telephone call to Miss Vango later that morning, Martin confessed to the attack, although he remained silent throughout most of his interview with police, claiming he had no memory of the incident.

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