'Callous in the extreme': Murderer who stabbed friend to death in Leeds street must serve at least 20 years in prison

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A murderer who showed no remorse for stabbing his friend to death in the street was told by a judge he was "callous in the extreme."

Dean Dagless, 48, was today given a life sentence and told he must serve a minimum of 20 years in prison after being found guilty of murdering St John Lewis.

Life Sentence: Dean Dagless was told will be an old man before he released from prison for the murder of St John Lewis.

Life Sentence: Dean Dagless was told will be an old man before he released from prison for the murder of St John Lewis.

A jury heard how Dagless stabbed Mr Lewis, 47, through the heart after confronting him on Broadlea Terrace, Bramley, on February 26 this year.

The trial at Leeds Crown Court heard Dagless attacked Mr Lewis - known to friends and family as Singe - after becoming angry about an accusation in a Facebook message.

Dagless left the scene to dispose of the murder weapon but returned as people tried in vain to save Mr Lewis as he lay dying.

He was then heard to say: "I hope he bleeds to death. If he doesn't die I will come back and cut his throat".

St John Lewis bled to death in Broadlea Terrace, Bramley, after being stabbed by Dead Dagless

St John Lewis bled to death in Broadlea Terrace, Bramley, after being stabbed by Dead Dagless

The court heard Dagless, of Broadlea Terrace, has a history of carrying knives in public.

The defendant tried to claim he had stabbed Mr Lewis accidentally when he gave evidence at his trial.

Sentencing Dagless, Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: "Your behaviour in the aftermath of the stabbing as he lay there dying was callous in the extreme.

"Having presided over the trial I am quite sure you were not at any time acting in self-defence.

Leeds Crown Court

Leeds Crown Court

"You could have left this confrontation at any time without risk.

"You were angry. When you encountered him in the street you were happy to have a confrontation with him.

"I completely reject any idea of self-defence.

"You used it (the knife) to stab Singe not once, but twice.

"You did so in front of others in a suburban street and you have shown no remorse. Quite the opposite.

"You will not emerge from prison until you are an old man."

Prosecutor Kitty Colley said: "This was an event committed in a residential street in normal daily hours, so it inevitably caused public concern and horror."

Jason Pitter, QC, mitigating, said: "Nothing a say is to undermine the circumstance or the actions leading to Mr Dagless' sentence."

Mr Pitter said the killing was not premeditated.

During the trial, the court heard Dagless had become "agitated and angry" about a Facebook Messenger text message Mr Lewis 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.

Mr Barrow said Dagless looked "angry and violent" and Mr Lewis looked "shocked."

The witness 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.