A Nottinghamshire man has been jailed for life after he murdered a Worksop man.
Richard Prendergast, 38, of Raymoth Lane, Worksop, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Monday (October, 1, 2018) having previously pleaded guilty to the murder of 44-year-old Lee Moody.
The court heard that Prendergast stabbed Mr Moody in the chest and neck during the attack at Mr Moody’s home in Gladstone Street, Worksop, on June, 25, 2018.
Police received a report from the East Midlands Ambulance Service, at 9.51pm, stating that a man was found unconscious in the street after being stabbed.
Mr Moody was treated for his injuries at the scene and was taken to hospital for further treatment but died later that night.
The court was told that Mr Moody had been at home drinking with some other people, including Prendergast, earlier that afternoon.
Witnesses said that later on Prendergast got angry about his missing mobile phone and thought Mr Moody had stolen it. He picked up a knife from a kitchen drawer and stabbed Mr Moody.
In fact it was another man, who had left the house to go to the bank, who told police he’d accidentally taken Prendergast’s phone.
The court heard that after stabbing Mr Moody, Prendergast removed his bloodied T-shirt and threw it over a wall before fleeing the scene. He discarded the knife down a drain and went on the run for several hours before being persuaded to hand himself in by police at his parent’s house where he was arrested.
In later police interviews Prendergast claimed he’d been paid to kill Mr Moody but that wasn’t his primary motive for killing him. He also told officers at interview that although he was angry about his missing phone this also wasn’t his primary motive and that he’d just decided to kill Mr Moody.
Prendergast refused to divulge any details about who he claimed had paid him. He told officers that he intended to kill Mr Moody and that he was not forced or under any duress at the time to do so.
Speaking after his sentencing Detective Chief Inspector Hayley Williams said: "Prendergast brutally attacked and murdered Mr Moody in his own home. It was a completely unprovoked and sustained attack.
"Despite extensive enquiries my team did not find any evidence to support Prendergast’s claim that he had been paid to carry out the murder and I believe he just made this claim to try and mitigate his responsibility for killing Lee.
"Prendergast will now serve a minimum of 19 years in prison and I hope his lengthy sentence brings some comfort to Mr Moody’s family and friends who have been left devastated at Lee’s senseless murder.
"Nottinghamshire Police will take all steps available to arrest and charge those who carry or use knives and bring those who commit knife crime to justice."
In a victim personal statement Mr Moody’s family said: "Lee was a much loved son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and great uncle. His death has left a huge void for us all as a family.
"We’ll be forever saddened that Lee will never be able to realise the dreams and ambitions he had as a little boy.
"He had a gentle loving soul, a passion for life and a huge heart that was in the right place. He would always try to help family and friends.
"It’s heart-wrenching knowing the senseless way in which Lee lost his life and the realisation that we will not see him again. His sudden death has left a sense of emptiness within our family and the manner of his death will haunt us for the rest of our lives."