'Rot in guilt': Grieving woman's message to murderer who stabbed her partner to death in Leeds street

The partner of a man who was stabbed to death by his friend told a court she hopes callous killer Dean Dagless "rots in guilt."

Monday, 12th August 2019, 16:20 pm
St John Lewis with partner Fay

Fay Dowson described how she now faces the daily horror of having walk past the spot just yards from their home where her partner of nine years was callously stabbed to death.

Ms Dowson's victim statement was read out at Leeds Crown Court where Dagless was sentenced for murdering St John Lewis on Broadlea Terrace, Bramley.

Mr Lewis - known to family and friends as Singe - died after suffering a fatal stab wound to the chest.

St John Lewis with partner Fay

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Dagless was given a life sentence and told he must serve a minimum of 20 years in custody.

Ms Dowson's statement, which was directed at her partner's killer, was read to the court by prosecutor Kitty Colley.

She said: "I want you to know how you have changed my life.

"I have never seen a dead body before seeing Singe laid out in a mortuary.

St John Lewis (left) with stepsister Vhe Mendoza and father Alfie Lewis

"Imagine having the most important person taken away from you so suddenly without a chance to say goodbye."

Ms Dowson went on to describe how she continues to be haunted by Mr Lewis' brutal death.

She said: "Singe visits me in my sleep and comforts me. Then a wake up and realise it was only a dream.

"This is something I re-live every single day.

St John Lewis

"The only person he wanted when he was bleeding to death on a cold pavement, more or less outside our home, was me.

"You have traumatised those who witnessed what you did and they are still suffering from your actions. It is something they have to live with as well.

"I guess you have never had to organise a funeral for a murder victim - I did.

"From your actions you have completely changed my life.

Dean Dagless was given life with a minimum of 20 years for the murder of St John Lewis

"I am constantly waiting for Singe to come home.

"This will never subside after I have been so close to someone for so many years.

"I want you to admit what you did. You set out to murder him and you succeeded.

"I want you to rot in guilt and feel the pain I am feeling.

"You will never understand how you made us feel.

"Every time I look outside I can see where Singe died.

St John Lewis

"I have to walk past that exact spot every single day."

During the trial, Ms Dowson provided a statement to the court describing Mr Lewis' caring nature.

She said: "He was a loveable rogue and reminded me of Del Boy. He was a very kind person."

"He was a right character. He didn't really have a violent bone in his body."

A victim statement was also read to the court on behalf of Mr Lewis' brother, Daniel.

Daniel, who lives in Austrialia, described how the two men had only re-established contact in recent years after not being in touch with each other for decades.

He said: "I was so happy we had got this relationship back and I felt we could have built our brotherly bond back up.

"He was a good man and I think that he got dealt a bad hand.

"I felt that he was going to be a big part of my life and my daughter's life."

Referring to Dagless, Mr Lewis said: "I don't think he grasps what he has done.

"I hope the man responsible gets a long time in prison for this.

"I had only just got my brother back and will never see him again."