Life term for knife killer

John Blackburn
John Blackburn

A KILLER who murdered his sister’s boyfriend in a brutal knife attack has been jailed for life.

John Blackburn lunged at Cole Wilson with a kitchen knife, leaving him with fatal wounds to his head and chest.

The 20-year-old, who had been arguing with Blackburn’s sister Jade, bled to death within minutes in the living room at a house in Peterlee, where the attack happened on September 18 last year.

Blackburn denied murder but was convicted by a jury after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Judge Paul Sloan yesterday sentenced Blackburn to life behind bars and said he cannot apply for parole for 17 years.

As the 20 year old was led away to start his life sentence he said “sound man” to his supporters.

Judge Sloan said he had read victim impact statements from Cole’s grieving relatives.

The judge said: “The reality is no sentence I can impose can ever be long enough to soften the pain suffered by the family and friends of the deceased.

“Their sentence will be a life sentence.”

The judge told Blackburn: “You went into the kitchen and armed yourself with the largest knife in the knife block, the blade was about 19cm.

“You returned upstairs and told your partner that you were ‘going to stab Cole’.

“That was clearly a serious threat and led to your partner begging on her hands and knees for you not to carry out the threat.

“You were determined by that stage to stab the deceased if he persisted in the argument he was having with your sister.

“You simply lost your temper, you took out the knife and proceeded to stab the deceased twice.”

The judge said Blackburn had used “significant, severe force” to inflict the wounds to Cole.

Judge Sloan said he did bear in mind that Cole had been Blackburn’s friend and David Robson, mitigating, said the men had been “blood brothers” and that Blackburn will live with what he did for the rest of his life.

Mr Robson said it was when his sister Jade gave her evidence during the trial that the enormity of what Blackburn had done actually hit him.

He added: “This is a case of a friend killing a friend.”

Mr Wilson, 20, bled profusely from his injuries and died within minutes.

The court heard the attack happened in the living room at Blackburn’s girlfriend Kim McGuire’s house at Sledmere Close, Peterlee.

Blackburn had brought his sister, Jade Blackburn, and her boyfriend of three years, Cole Wilson, who was also his friend, to spend the night.

The court heard despite efforts to save Mr Wilson, who was from Walker, Newcastle, he died as a result of blood loss.

Blackburn, of Holywell Avenue, Walker, who had been staying with his partner in Peterlee in the time leading up the killing, denied murder throughout the trial.

He told the court Cole had been his “best mate” and that he had not meant to stab him.

Det Supt Ken Donnelly, of Durham Police, said afterwards: “John Blackburn was responsible for a violent attack on a young man who died as a result of multiple stabs wounds. The sentence he has received should serve as a warning to others that if they resort to violence, particularly using knives, they will suffer the consequences.”