A Mablethorpe man who stabbed a neighbour leaving him to bleed to death in the street was this jailed for life after a jury convicted him of murder.
James Adam, 46, pulled a knife on Jamie Rudd, 36, in reaction to an “innocent and trivial” remark which Adam took the wrong way.
During a scuffle that followed Adam stabbed Mr Rudd twice, with one of the blows penetrating his heart.
He collapsed to the ground and bled to death despite heroic attempts by paramedics and a passer-by to save his life.
Adam, of Victoria Road, Mablethorpe, denied murder as a result of the incident on Bank Holiday Monday, 28 August last year.
He also denied possession of an offensive weapon. The jury spent just under five hours deliberating before returning guilty verdicts on both charges.
The court heard he had previously been given a five year jail sentence for stabbing a man and had been twice convicted of threatening people with knives. He had a total of 19 previous convictions for a total of 64 offences.
Adam was given a life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum of 23 years before he can be considered for parole.
Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, described him as “a vicious little bully” who invented evidence that he reacted after he was threatened with a knife.
The judge said he did not accept that Mr Rudd had a knife and told Adam: “The knife existed only in your head. You have shown a total absence of remorse and not a shred of human decency.”
The incident on Victoria Road, Mablethorpe, happened after Adam confronted Mr Rudd over an innocent remark made by the previous day by Mr Rudd’s partner Kirsty Owens.
Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, said that Adam’s then partner, Helen Witney, was dog walking near the seafront with two other people when Kirsty Owens commented “who’s taking who for a walk” after seeing the dog pulling another neighbour Wayne Pemberton down the street.
Although Ms Witney was not bothered by what was said, Adam took it to mean she was being called a dog and that led to the later confrontation.
Adam, in evidence, denied he intended to kill Mr Rudd and claimed he reacted after being threatened with a knife.
At the end of the hearing, Kirsty Owens, 27, said in a victim personal statement that she misses her partner. The couple had been together for 10 years and had a son born in December 2016.
Detective Chief Inspector Karl Whiffen, the Senior Investigating Officer in the case, said: “This has been the most tragic end to what was essentially a throwaway and trivial comment made when neither the defendant nor the victim was present.
“Adam took issue with comments made and tragically this has resulted in the loss of life of Mr Rudd.
“Adam has shown no remorse and, as the court heard, he was a man that had a clear propensity for violence.
“The sentence imposed today by the judge reflects the seriousness of the offence and I hope demonstrates to the public the gravity of Adam’s actions, the devastating effects to his partner and family that knife crime can have and how this has left a small son without a father.
“We in Lincolnshire Police will do everything in our power to tackle and bring to justice anyone who commits these types of offences.”