Killer who stabbed man through heart in Leeds street attack to be sentenced for murder

A man who stabbed his friend through the heart with a kitchen knife in a street attack in Leeds will be sentenced for murder on Monday.

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 12:27 pm
Dean Dagless facing life sentence for the murder of St John Lewis.

Dean Dagless stabbed 47-year-old St John Lewis to death in Bramley during a fight after becoming angry about an accusation in a Facebook message.

Dagless was unanimously found guilty of murder after a seven-day trial in July.

Dagless, 48, of Broadlea Terrace, Bramley, stabbed Mr Lewis during a fight outside his victim's home on Broadlea Terrace on Tuesday February 26.

St John Lewis died after being stabbed through the heart during the attack in Bramley

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

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".

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.

After Dagless was found guilty on July 17, Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, 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."

St John Lewis

Dagless is remanded in custody.

Dagless gave evidence at the trial and told the jury 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.

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.

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.