The court case

KEIRAN Botterill, 26, is today starting a life sentence for murder after stabbing his love-rival to death.The court heard how he went to his former girlfriend's flat in Trinity Walk, Stowupland, at night armed with a knife and stabbed 21-year-old Zak Brown once in the heart after shouting and hammering at the front door to be let in.

KEIRAN Botterill, 26, is today starting a life sentence for murder after stabbing his love-rival to death.

The court heard how he went to his former girlfriend's flat in Trinity Walk, Stowupland, at night armed with a knife and stabbed 21-year-old Zak Brown once in the heart after shouting and hammering at the front door to be let in. Mr Brown, who had only started a relationship with Botterill's ex-girlfriend, Heidi Stevens, two weeks earlier, staggered out of the flat but collapsed and died in his girlfriend's arms shortly afterwards, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Botterill, of Soames Close, Stowmarket, had denied murdering Mr Brown, of Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, on September 10 last year. A jury took eight hours to unanimously find him guilty after a week-long trial.

Passing a mandatory life sentence, Judge John Devaux said Botterill should serve a minimum term of 13 years, less 244 days he had already spent in custody, before the parole board could consider his early release. He passed a concurrent 12-month extended sentence for an assault on Miss Stevens which Botterill admitted. Sentencing him, Judge Devaux said he had gone to Miss Stevens' flat in the early hours of September 10 armed with a knife.


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He said: “You invaded her home and you were aggressive. I have no doubt Mr Brown did the best he could to defend himself and prevent you using the knife, but to no avail.”

The judge said the fact Botterill had armed himself with a knife was an aggravating feature of the case. He said after the stabbing Botterill had made threats to Miss Stevens and appeared to be pleased with what he had achieved.

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Judge Devaux said the prosecution had accepted from the outset that Botterill had intended to cause Mr Brown really serious harm rather than to kill him.

Graham Trembath QC, for Botterill, said there had been a great deal of publicity in recent weeks relating to the increase in the instances of the carrying of knives and how that practice could lead to very tragic circumstances.

He said although Botterill had carried a knife in the past and had threatened to use it, he had never actually used it until the night in question.

“Tragically on this occasion he did,” said Mr Trembath.

He asked the court to accept there had been no degree of planning or pre-meditation and that Botterill had gone to Miss Stevens' flat feeling aggrieved and jealous after drinking alcohol.

“As far as his emotions were concerned he was in something of a state,” said Mr Trembath.

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