A Crewe man has been handed a 12 year prison sentence after being found guilty of the manslaughter of 26-year-old Eric Tomkinson with a single stab wound.
Paul Ward, 27, from Crewe, was found guilty by a jury at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday 10 July.
Ward was also convicted of section 18 assault on the victim’s friend Jon Scragg and possession of a knife.
On the evening of 4 January this year, Eric met up with some friends and they subsequently made their way along Stewart St, Crewe, toward the Hop Pole pub.
The group stopped at a shop on the corner of Stewart Street and Alton Street.
The friends split up soon after and Eric carried on his journey with two of the group to the pub, via a footpath that cuts through to Wistaston Road.
As they walked along the path, Paul Ward approached the trio from behind, and started shouting obscenities.
An altercation ensued between the victim and Paul Ward. The Court heard that Ward was seen to lunge at Eric, stabbing him once to the abdomen.
Further compounding the vicious attack, Ward stabbed the victim’s friend Jon Scragg in the back as he was trying to get away to safety.
Eric was taken to North Staffordshire Hospital but the wound inflicted by Ward proved fatal and Eric died as result of his injury the following day.
DI Helen Spooner said:
“This is an appalling case.
Eric was going out with friends for what should have been an enjoyable evening and it ended in tragedy because of an individual’s ferocious temper and disposition for committing serious acts of violence.
“Now that Ward is in prison he should have the time to contemplate the consequences of his extreme actions.”