Killer jailed for life after murder of Daryl Fowler in Leam Lane knife attack
A killer has been jailed for life for the murder of a pal he claimed was "like a brother" in a knife attack.
Tragic Daryl Fowler lost his life on the anniversary of his dad's death after being stabbed by Lee Wall during a violent row.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 28-year-old victim and his girlfriend Coreena Jamieson had gone to the home Wall shared with his partner Emma Brown and a violent argument erupted.
During the violence, Wall stabbed Mr Fowler in the abdomen twice.
After the fatal attack Wall and Brown "invented" a story about Mr Fowler being set upon by two unknown men.
Brown disposed of the murder weapon down a drain but it was later recovered by officers who searched during hours of darkness to retrieve it and save the vital evidence it contained.
Mr Fowler had emergency treatment at the scene and in hospital but died in the early hours of the following day, which was the third anniversary of his dad's death.
Wall and Emma Brown, 40, both pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.
Judge Paul Sloan QC sentenced Wall to life behind bars and said he must serve at least 19 years before he can apply for parole.Brown was sentenced to 21 months.Judge Sloan said after the stabbing Mr Fowler was bleeding heavily and obviously very seriously injured and told the pair: "Instead of going to his aid the pair of you stood talking for a period, no doubt how you were going to cover your tracks."
The judge said Mr Fowler was vulnerable and added: "He was a much loved family man who had great difficulty in coping with his father's death.
"Now, the family have again been left devastated, this time by Daryl's murder.
"No sentence I am permitted by law to impose could ever begin to ease their suffering."
In a heartbreaking impact statement, which was read to the court on behalf of the grieving family, Jessica Fowler said her brother Daryl was greatly loved and had struggled to cope since their dad's death.
She said: "He was no angel but didn't deserve to die like this. It haunts me to think how frightened he must have been to know how serious his injuries were and be left dying on the street."
She added: "Emma And Lee were meant to be Daryl's mates. They have both proved themselves to be liars."
Prosecutor Simon Kealey QC had told the court Mr Fowler lived with his grandmother Jennifer Miller in South Shields, and would "go off the rails" in the days leading up to his dad's anniversary on September 12, by drinking and taking drugs.On September 11 last year Mr Fowler had been drinking and claimed to have taken 40-50 tablets "because he couldn't cope with his father's anniversary".
The court heard Mrs Miller had expected her grandson to return home at around 7.30pm and rang him 15 minutes later, when he sounded "upset" and was crying.It was at almost exactly 8pm Miss Jamieson rang the emergency services and said he had been stabbed.Mr Kealey told jurors a row had broken out at Brown and Wall's home at Chevington, Leam Lane, Gateshead, between her and Miss Jamieson, over the sale of an iPhone and the men became involved.The court heard after violence erupted, Mr Fowler ended up lying injured on the road outside.Emergency services, including the air ambulance with a consultant on board attended the street.
Mr Kealey said: "After 40 minutes emergency treatment at the scene he was taken by ambulance to hospital in Newcastle."He arrived at 8.45pm at A&E and treatment continued in an effort to save his life."In the early hours of the following day, at 2.40am, further attempts were deemed futile by those treating him and Mr Fowler sadly was pronounced dead."
The court heard one knife wound caused damage to his bowel and pancreas and the other damaged his aorta, a main artery in the body, which ultimately caused cardiac arrest.Robert Woodcock QC, defending, said there was no evidence Wall intended to kill Mr Fowler.Daniel Cordey, defending Brown, said the mum has been unable to see her children while remanded in custody and accepts responsibility for what she did.