Videos: German jailed for life for Suffolk student murder

GERMAN office worker David Heiss has been jailed for life after he was found guilty of murdering Suffolk student Matthew Pyke.

GERMAN office worker David Heiss has been jailed for life after he was found guilty of murdering Suffolk student Matthew Pyke.

Heiss, 21, stabbed Mr Pyke, from Stowmarket, 86 times in a brutal attack after becoming infatuated with his girlfriend, Joanna Witton.

He forced his way in to the Nottingham flat Mr Pyke shared with 21-year-old Miss Witton and stabbed him as he lay cowering in the corner.

In his last moments Mr Pyke, 20, had written DAV, the first three letters of Heiss's Christian name, in his own blood on the side of his computer to alert police to his killer's identity.


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But the computer sciences student, of Stowmarket, Suffolk, did not survive the attack on September 19 last year, which was described by prosecutors at Nottingham Crown Court as "savage and sustained".

Heiss became obsessed with Miss Witton after meeting her through the war gaming website she ran with her boyfriend from their flat above the Orange Tree pub in North Sherwood Street in Nottingham city centre.

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There were gasps in the public gallery as the verdict was delivered and Mr Pyke's brother Adam hugged his mother Kim.

Mr Justice Keith said: “David Heiss, you have been convicted of the brutal and savage murder of Matthew Pyke.

“The law permits only one punishment for the crime of murder and the sentence I pass on you is one of imprisonment for life.”

The judge told Heiss he would serve at least 18 years.

He added: “I have no doubt that at some stage you decided that Matthew had to die, and that your killing of him involved a substantial degree of both planning and premeditation, which is a significant aggravating factor.

“You may not have had a clear idea in your own mind by the time you bought your return ticket on September 11, but I'm sure you thought that Matthew had to be removed following the chatroom conversation that you had with him on September 14.

“I don't believe you brought the knife with you because you decided to kill yourself with it, but you brought it with you to kill Matthew and then make it look as if he had killed himself.”

The judge then congratulated the police on their investigation, before turning to Kim and Adam Pyke, the victim's mother and brother.

Mr Pyke's father, William, had not attended the trial, but today, Miss Witton, his girlfriend, was in court to hear the verdict.

The judge added: “William and Kim Pyke, and Matthew's brother, Adam - I was greatly moved on Friday when I read Mrs Pyke's recent witness statement.

“I want you and other members of your family, as well as Joanna, to know that I have taken into account the devastation and the unimaginable effect that Matthew's death, and the circumstances of it, have had on your lives.

“I wish to express my personal condolences to you on your terrible loss. Throughout this case, you have behaved with great dignity, even though you must have been angered by the fairness shown to David Heiss, in contrast to what he showed Matthew.”

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