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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2007, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
'Barbaric' killer given life term
Reuben Valentine
The victim's mother described Valentine as "barbaric and evil"
A 17-year-old from Nottingham who murdered a teenager after a row about a ripped jacket has been jailed for life.

Judge Michael Stokes said Reuben Valentine was "barbaric and evil" and told him he must serve at least 16 years for killing Jason Spencer, 17.

Nottingham Crown Court was told Valentine had become angry when his jacket was torn during a play fight.

Valentine, from Sherwood, had denied the charge but changed his plea to guilty on Wednesday.

Videolink evidence

Judge Stokes also said Valentine was "totally out of control" and agreed Jason Spencer's mother was right to describe Valentine as "barbaric and evil".

Valentine attacked Jason Spencer and stabbed him eight times, with two of the blows piercing his heart.

He has been snatched away from us because some evil person attacked him, showing no mercy
John Greensmith, Jason's stepfather

The court heard evidence - some given via videolink - that the defendant became angry after his jacket was torn and demanded 60 to replace it.

The jury was then told that when Mr Spencer offered to sew it up, Mr Valentine punched him in the face and was hit back.

Speaking after the verdict, John Greensmith, Jason's stepfather, said: "We will never see Jason grow up, have girlfriends, get married or make Angela a grandmother.

"He has been snatched away from us because some evil person attacked him, showing no mercy. He took the life of such a special person."

His mother Angela said in a victim statement read out in court that her son's death had caused "tremendous pain and horror".

"Jason's nature was one of a happy, warm, caring and very thoughtful person, who touched the hearts of many people.

"He was all I lived for, he was my whole life, my baby boy, my special gift from God and now I will never see him again, never share a joke or hold him in my arms and tell him how much I love him.

"Since that day (of his murder) I have been unable to return home to the house we lived in together, every second of every minute of every hour of every day I suffer and I will suffer for the rest of my life until the day Jason and I are reunited again."

Reuben Valentine is described as a 'dangerous individual'

Youth admits murdering teenager
10 Oct 07 |  Nottinghamshire
Youth stabbed after 'play fight'
09 Oct 07 |  Nottinghamshire
Youth denies murdering teenager
08 Oct 07 |  Nottinghamshire
Three arrests over fatal stabbing
19 Apr 07 |  Nottinghamshire
Youth died from single stab wound
09 Mar 07 |  Nottinghamshire
Youth found with fatal injuries
07 Mar 07 |  Nottinghamshire

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