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Last Updated: Monday, 18 February 2008, 19:23 GMT
Student killer is jailed for life
David Haynes
David Haynes was fatally stabbed on his 21st birthday
A man convicted of murdering a student who was celebrating his 21st birthday has been jailed for life.

Shilesh Patel, 26, stabbed David Haynes in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, after the two clashed in a nightclub.

Mr Haynes defended his cousin Shane McLeod, who was mocked by Patel for being deaf on 26 August 2006, jurors at Northampton Crown Court heard.

Patel, a university graduate of Winstanley Road, Wellingborough, must serve a minimum of 18 years in prison.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice McKay said: "You took the life of a young man of good character with his whole life before him on his 21st birthday."

'Pride dented'

The jury was unable to reach verdicts on murder charges in relation to Patel's co defendants Nimesh Patel, 24, and Sandeep Phull, 22.

They will discover whether they face a retrial on Tuesday.

All three defendants were cleared of conspiracy to cause GBH.

In a statement, Mr Haynes' family said it welcomed the verdict and sentence.

Shilesh Patel
Shilesh Patel will serve at least 18 years in prison for murder

It said: "This verdict has hopefully shown that no matter what class or background you come from, carrying a knife is a stupid thing to do and could lead to serious consequences, not only for victims but for their family and friends and the wider community.

"We wish to stress that we would like the peace and calm to remain and ask people not to use David's death as an excuse for any more violence or reprisals."

Jurors heard how Mr Haynes was celebrating his birthday with Mr McLeod, 24, and other friends in the Bar Life nightclub in Wellingborough.

Mr Haynes confronted Shilesh Patel after the defendant became involved in pushing with his cousin in the nightclub, jurors heard.

"David Haynes told him 'If you have got trouble with that guy, you have got trouble with me'," Nicholas Dean, QC, prosecuting, said.

'Knife for protection'

The altercation ended with both parties shaking hands but, said Mr Dean, "the trivial incident was the spark to ignite events later."

Shilesh Patel returned to his home in Winstanley Road, Wellingborough, with his co-defendants where he armed himself with a kitchen knife then returned to Silver Street and stabbed Mr Haynes in the stomach, jurors heard.

Mr Haynes died at Kettering General Hospital 12 hours later from a single stab wound inflicted by Shilesh Patel, the court was told.

When questioned by police Shilesh Patel said the killing was an accident and that he was carrying a knife for protection, jurors were told.

Jury out in birthday murder trial
15 Feb 08 |  Northamptonshire
Stab victim came to cousin's aid
05 Feb 08 |  Northamptonshire
Man 'murdered' on 21st birthday
04 Feb 08 |  Northamptonshire

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