Bramley man found guilty of murdering former friend by stabbing him through heart

Dean Dagless
Dean Dagless
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A Leeds Crown Court jury has convicted Dean Dagless of murdering his  former friend St John Lewis in Bramley.

Dagless, 48, stabbed 47-year-old Mr Lewis through the heart with a kitchen knife during a fight after becoming angry about an accusation in a Facebook message.

St John Lewis

St John Lewis

'Loveable rogue' stabbed through heart over Facebook message.

Dagless denied murder and possessing an offensive weapon.

The jury unanimously convicted Dagless of murder this afternoon (July 17) and unanimously found him not guilty of possessing an offensive weapon.

The jury retired this morning and spent three-and-a-half-hours hours considering their verdicts following a seven-day trial.

St John Lewis

St John Lewis

Judge Tom Bayliss QC said Dagless will be sentenced on Friday August 9.

Judge Bayliss told Dagless: "You have been convicted of murder. There is only one sentence for murder and that's life imprisonment.

"I have to decide the minimum term that you must serve. I will do that having heard submissions from counsel on August 9."

Dagless was remanded in custody.

Dagless, of Broadlea Terrace, Bramley, stabbed Mr Lewis during a fight outside his victim's home on Broadlee Terrace on Tuesday February 26.

He later returned as Mr Lewis lay dying and was heard to say "If he doesn't die I will come back and cut his throat," the court was told.

Dagless said he had been doing DIY at home and realised he had the knife with him by accident when he left the house and before he saw Mr Lewis.

Dagless told the jury he he held the knife by his side to warn Mr Lewis, who lunged at him and was stabbed accidentally.

Prosecutor, Kitty Colley said Dagless had become "agitated and angry" about a Facebook Messenger text message Mr Lewis - known as Singe - had sent to Dagless, accusing him of committing a serious criminal offence.

Witness John Barrow - who told the jury he was a very good friend of Mr Lewis - was stood on the opposite side of the road around two houses away from where Dagless and Mr Lewis were fighting on the pavement.

Leeds man stabbed through heart by former friend asked him 'why did you do that?"

Mr Barrow said Dagless, 48, looked "angry and violent" and Mr Lewis - who was known as Singe - looked "Shocked."

Mr Barrow said he saw Dagless pull something from his right hand side and lunge at Mr Lewis's chest.

Mr Barrow said Mr Lewis stumbled and said to Dagless: "Why did you do that ?"

The jury was told Dagless then lunged at Mr Lewis for a second time and struck his neck.

Mr Barrow said Dagless walked away but returned later as Mr Lewis was lying fatally injured in the road.

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Mr Barrow said: "He (Dagless) said if he doesn't die I will make sure he dies next time."

The jury was told Dagless retrieved a bag that was near Mr Lewis's feet before walking away.