A 27-year-old Rushden man has been found guilty of murdering his friend by stabbing him in the chest and back.
A jury at Northampton Crown Court today delivered a guilty verdict against Danney Beaumont, of Maple Road, Rushden, who was charged with the murder of Steven Smith aged 23.
It took the jury just over 13 hours to deliver the verdict with a majority of ten to two.
The court heard that Mr Smith, a father-of-three, suffered fatal stab wounds after he became involved in an argument with Beaumont at his home address in Trafford Road, Rushden, in the early hours of Saturday, October 25 last year.
Opening the prosecution case, Amjad Malik said Mr Smith and the defendant were friends who had been drinking cider and wine together on the night of the alleged murder.
Mr Malik said Mr Smith’s partner had been in the house during the evening and had witnessed Beaumont carry out the second stab wound, in the lower left side of his back.
The murder weapon was a five-and-a-half inch knife, kept in a block of five utensils above the sink in the kitchen of Mr Smith’s house.
However, Beaumont had denied the charge of murder and said Mr Smith suffered his fatal injuries after he “kept coming at him” when he was holding the knife.
When asked why he had not called an ambulance, Beaumont told officers that “he did not think Mr Smith’s injuries were that serious”.
Mr Malik said Beaumont said he had dumped the knife in a hedge near the house. However, the knife was never recovered by police.
Detective Sergeant Paul Hamilton from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), Major Crime Team, said he welcomed the verdict of the jury.
He said: “Stephen lost his life in an alcohol fuelled argument that got out of control. Once again we are dealing with the death of a person in a location where he should have been safe.
“This is a killing that is hard to comprehend. Following the argument and initial injury, Danney Beaumont chose to continue to use a knife, stabbing Steven for a second time, rather than seeking to help his friend by calling for medical assistance.
“The consequences of what he did are absolutely tragic. Steven’s family, partner and three young children have been left totally devastated by what has happened. They are struggling to come to terms with the loss of Steven at the hand of a person who he called his friend.
“The part that drink and drugs played in this tragic incident is hard to quantify, but it is a factor and should serve as a warning to all those who choose to take drugs and alcohol.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with Steven’s family and his three children at this time.”