'This has been a shocking and life changing event which emphasises the dangers of knives': Cleveland Police reaction as killer jailed for 26 years

Bosses at Cleveland Police said killer Derek Pallas 'lied and lied again' as they investigated the death of Peter Gilling who was stabbed five times in the street.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 5:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th April 2019, 5:49 pm
Police investigating at the scene.
Police investigating at the scene.

Derek Pallas, 36, stabbed Peter Gilling, 39, five times all over his body after attacking him outside a block of flats in Billingham last September.

He was found guilty of murder following a 13-day trial at Teesside Crown Court on Thursday.

The area was cordoned off during police investigations.

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Darren Willans, a boxer from Hartlepool, was also charged with murder, but was cleared by the jury of both murder and manslaughter.

Detective Sergeant Iain Pearson, of Cleveland Police, said: “While no result can sadly bring Peter back, we hope that the verdict today provides his family and friends with some form of closure and reassurance that justice has been done.

“This has been a shocking and life changing event which emphasises the dangers of knives. Today’s sentence should act as a clear warning to those considering carrying or using knives that it will only lead to serious injury or as was sadly the case here, death.

“I’d like to thank to those residents who came forward with information. This outcome would not have been possible without their help, combined with the dedicated and hard work of the police officers involved and the strong sense of teamwork between Police and CPS.

“From the outset, Pallas lied and lied again and refused to accept responsibility for Peter’s death.

“This drew out both the inquiry and the trial, which caused additional suffering for Peter’s family.

“Should you ever be a witness to any traumatic crime, Cleveland Police will do all that is possible to take care of your safety and wellbeing throughout all stages of an investigation and trial.

“I welcome today’s sentence which I hope will bring some comfort to Peter’s family. Our sympathy goes out to them and we ask that they are provided with time to come to terms with this privately.”