Suffolk man admits murder

A SUFFOLK man has admitted murdering a 23-year-old in an early-morning stabbing in Sudbury.

Russell Claydon

A SUFFOLK man has admitted murdering a 23-year-old in an early-morning stabbing in Sudbury.

Just minutes after Andrew Rowlands fatally wounded Lewis Watson, he calmly walked into a fast-food shop, ordered a pizza and borrowed a mobile phone to tell police what he had done, according to a witness.

Rowlands, 27, of The Croft, Sudbury, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday afternoon for a plea and case management hearing.

Seven members of Mr Watson's family were in the public gallery for the proceedings, which lasted less than five minutes.

Detective chief inspector Neil Luckett, from the Suffolk and Norfolk major investigation team, who headed up the inquiry, was also in court along with two of his officers.

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After Rowlands confirmed his identity, he was asked how he pleaded to the charge of murder and replied “guilty”.

Michael Brompton, who was representing Rowlands with Robert O'Sullivan, asked for the case to be adjourned for pre-sentence reports from the Probation Service.

Judge John Devaux told Rowlands that he would have to return to the crown court on February 25 for sentencing and remanded him in custody.

Emergency services were called to Cavendish Way in Sudbury at 12.16am on Saturday, September 26, after Mr Watson, of Rubens Road, Sudbury, sustained fatal stab wounds. He was taken to the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds but died an hour later.

After yesterday's court hearing a kebab shop owner said Rowlands came into his premises with blood trickling down his face from a cut on his eye.

He then walked outside the shop in Gaol Lane and asked to use a man's mobile phone before calling the police himself.

A couple of minutes later police arrived and arrested him.

“I was shocked to see it happen,” said the business owner, who asked not to be named. “I thought he was joking with the police.

“He got arrested at the front of my shop. He came in and bought a pizza. He had a cut open eye and just acted normal.

“He phoned the police by himself and handed himself in. He asked for a phone outside and someone gave him a phone.”

The takeaway owner said he had “stood calmly” while waiting for his pizza, before customers looked on in horror as he told the police what had happened just minutes earlier.

Asked what sentence he believed Rowlands should get, the takeaway owner said: “He should be given two life sentences, not one, for what he did. A young boy died for nothing.”