Party gatecrasher given life sentence for murder

A TEENAGER is today beginning a life sentence for murder after stabbing a man at a party.

Thomas Parkinson plunged a kitchen knife into the back of 23-year-old Shaun Higgins after gatecrashing a party at a house in Brookfield, Preston.

Parkinson and two friends had been thrown out of the house on Oakworth Avenue where a number of young people had gathered for drinks on an evening last August.

Parkinson, said Preston Crown Court prosecutor Neil Flewitt QC, was drunk and becoming aggressive and threatening.

He was asked to leave the house with his friends John Linford and Scott Malliband, but before doing so, he went to the kitchen and secretly took a large kitchen knife, concealing it in the waistband of his trousers.

Punch

The three who had been ejected then kicked the front door down and Parkinson was seen by a witness to apparently punch party guest Shaun Higgins with a hard blow to his back.

However, Parkinson was holding the kitchen knife he had taken earlier.

Mr Higgins, of Grange Avenue, Preston, staggered into the living room and collapsed on to a chair, said Mr Flewitt.

Parkinson, together with the other two, then left and he threw the knife onto land at nearby Halton Place. Police later recovered the knife. When they arrived at the house, Mr Higgins was semi-conscious and bleeding heavily.

He was taken by ambulance to the Royal Preston Hospital where emergency surgery was carried out, but he was pronounced dead at 11.41pm on August 11.

“He had suffered a significant stab wound to his back, below the shoulder blade, which entered 12cm deep, fracturing a rib and entering the lung,” Mr Flewitt told the court.

A pathologist stated that the wound must have been inflicted with “considerable force”.

Parkinson, 19, of Acacia Road, Ribbleton, changed his plea to guilty to murder last month.

The Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC, told him that by his actions he had taken the life of a “much-loved young man, who had done nothing to warrant his fate.”

Judge Russell said: “This was unprovoked and unnecessary violence. The sentence for murder is fixed by law – custody for life.”

Parkinson will serve a minimum 12 years before he can be considered for parole, he was told by the judge.

His barrister, Anthony Cross QC, said Parkinson was “genuinely wracked with remorse and sorrow” for what he had done.

John Linford and Scott Malliband, both 20 and each of Watling Street Road, Preston, each pleaded guilty to affray.

They received 12 months detention in a young offenders institution which, taking into consideration the time spent in custody on remand, will probably mean they are released shortly.