Lancaster man's murderer jailed for life at Preston Crown Court
A man who murdered a neighbour when he was acting as a peacemaker between two feuding men has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 21 years before he is eligible for parole.
Lee Farrington, 29, was stabbed in the thigh and suffered a cardiac arrest a short time after the attack, on August 27.
He died the next morning during emergency surgery to try to repair his severed femoral artery.
A post mortem examination deemed the wound was caused by a “deliberate thrusting motion”.
Connor Reece, 25, of no fixed address, was found guilty of murder after a trial.
His girlfriend Danielle McCreery, 27, of no fixed address, and her father, Wayne McCreery, 46, from St Andrews Road, Stretford, Manchester, were found guilty of perverting the course of justice after assisting Reece to evade arrest and will be sentenced on Tuesday.
Preston Crown Court previously heard there had been a previous violent confrontation between Reece and a neighbour, Ciaran Currie, 11 days earlier, which had led to Reece, his girlfriend and Currie’s evictions from a multi occupancy property, Oak Tree House.
Mr Farrington and his friend Kadijah Omar also lived at the property and knew them.
It was alleged Reece was angry Mr Farrington "was on Currie’s side" and he had tried to act as a “peacemaker” during the earlier incident.
On August 27, Mr Farrington, Miss Omar, and another man, Andrew Perry, went to an address on Tarnsyke Road to buy some cannabis, and almost as soon as they arrived Connor Reece, who had two young men with him, walked over to them and asked where Ciaran was.
Mr Farrington, who replied he didn’t know, was “cornered” in the communal area.
Reece took a knife from his sock and suddenly stabbed him in the thigh.
Det Chf Insp Lee Wilson, of Lancashire Police’s Force Major Investigation Team, said: “This was a savage and brutal attack based on nothing more than a wholly misplaced and dubious sense of revenge which tragically claimed a young man’s life.
“Lee Farrington, just 29, was an innocent man in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Reece made off from the scene and sought help from Danielle and Wayne McCreery, avoiding arrest for several days.
“He is clearly a dangerous individual and today’s sentence reflects the gravity of his actions.
“I must also place on record my thanks for the support and help from Lee’s family, at what no doubt has been an exceptionally difficult time. I hope today brings some form of closure and a sense that justice has been served for their late and much lamented loved one.”
In a statement, Lee’s family said: “Any sentence will never be enough.
“We have a huge void that can never be filled and Lee’s children will grow up without him because of that man.
“Lee would have been 30 last week, we did have a celebration planned but instead we talked about memories. His son will be four next month and it breaks our heart that Lee isn’t there for him or his eldest son.
“We hope that, for anyone who carries a knife, this message gets to them – you could kill someone with one stab and change lives forever. Thank you to the police and the criminal justice system for all they have done to get justice for Lee.”
Judge Robert Altham will sentence his co-defendants tomorrow due to technical problems with the video link system.