Teenager jailed for murder of friend in 'brutal' stabbing attack
A 17-year-old boy has been jailed for a minimum of 17 years for repeatedly stabbing a "vulnerable" friend in a "brutal and sustained attack".
Luke Pearce, of Gosport, Hampshire, pleaded guilty to the murder of Michael Deary who was found dead at his home in Omaha Close, Fareham, on August 20 last year.
Matthew Jewell QC, prosecuting, told Winchester Crown Court that the 29-year-old had been killed in the early hours of August 16 when he suffered three stab wounds to the back and two to his arm and shoulder.
His body was discovered by a police officer who found his flat ransacked and covered in blood splatters with "thick pools" of blood on the floor.
Mr Jewell said: "A significant period of time elapsed between the infliction of the wounds and Mr Deary succumbing to his injuries.
"Had they been treated promptly, his life may have been saved."
He said the defendant had stolen £300 in cash from his victim and a pouch of tobacco.
Sentencing Pearce, judge Mr Justice Goose said: "It was a brutal, violent and sustained attack.
"You have shown little empathy for the deceased, your primary concern is how it will affect you."
Mr Jewell said that Pearce was linked to the crime scene through his fingerprints.
He said the defendant told his mother on the telephone from prison that "it was horrible" and he was "high" at the time.
Mr Jewell said: "Mr Pearce told his mother the murder was what happened when you've got no-one, you do stupid things because you think you have nothing to lose."
Mr Jewell said that Pearce, who had smoked cannabis since he was 12, also told his mother that he had committed the attack because he needed money for food and drugs.
He added that Pearce had carried out internet searches about how to knock someone unconscious.
Mr Jewell said that Mr Deary "had a history of mental health problems and drug and alcohol misuse" and was a "vulnerable character who others took advantage of".
In a statement read to the court, the victim's mother, Tracy Deary, said that his death had a "devastating effect" on her family, leaving her unable to work and needing counselling.
The victim's sister, Emily, paid tribute to her brother saying he was her "best friend, role model, motivator, teacher" and said he was "caring, with time for everyone".
William Mousley QC, defending, said: "Luke Pearce is sorry for what he did and is struggling to come to terms with his actions."
He said the defendant was living in "miserable circumstances" and added he had "an unhappy and unsettled childhood".
Mr Deary's family said in a statement: "We still mourn the sad loss of our wonderful son Mike.
"He was caring, kind, talented, and his selfless nature was something everyone knew him for. Mike loved his family and he will live in our hearts forever."