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Last Updated: Monday, 2 October 2006, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Sword killer is jailed for life
Matthew Stiling
Matthew Stiling died while trying to calm down an argument
A man who murdered another man with a Samurai sword outside a Devon nightclub has been jailed for life.

Matthew Stiling, 33, died after being stabbed by Bradley Moran during a row between two groups in July 2005.

Moran, 24, of Vale Cottage, Newtown, Sidmouth, caused a wound which penetrated Mr Stiling's heart.

He had denied murder, telling Truro Crown Court he thought he was going to be attacked. The judge said it was a case of "a life needlessly taken".

Street argument

Moran, who was found guilty by a majority verdict of 10 to two, was part of a group which argued with Mr Stiling and his friends on 22 July in a club in Sidmouth.

The court heard that the argument had first been between Moran and Matthew's brother, Jason.

After the argument had been defused by security staff at the club it started again later in the street.

Bradley Moran
Moran said he was afraid he was going to be attacked
During that time, Moran went home, got two samurai swords and plunged the blade about 10ins (25cm) into Mr Stiling's chest, cutting through his rib cage and stabbing him through the heart.

The court was told Mr Stiling had his arms outstretched and palms upwards to try and calm the situation.

Moran ran away from the scene and went to a house on the outskirts of the town owned by members of his family. Police arrested him there.

When sentencing, Judge Graham Cottle said: "I am satisfied that Matthew Stiling came across to try and calm things down."

He recommended Moran should be serve at least 17 years in jail, and went on to call for more attention to be paid to knives and ornamental weapons, saying such objects could still be lethal.

Det Insp Ken Lamont, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said the verdict did offer some closure for Matthew Stiling's family, but added that there were "no winners in this case, only losers".

He said: "A 33-year-old man has lost his life, and we have another man who is going to spend years in prison."

See some of the tributes to Matt Stiling


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