Page last updated at 18:36 GMT, Monday, 22 March 2010

Waitress jailed for murdering friend's boyfriend

Stacey Hyde
Stacey Hyde was 17 at the time of the offence

A Somerset teenager has been jailed for life, with a minimum term of nine years, for stabbing her best friend's boyfriend to death.

Stacey Hyde, 18, of Wells, repeatedly plunged a kitchen knife into the back of Vincent Francis, 34, at a flat in Charter Way in the city last year.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Hyde objected to the way that Mr Francis treated her friend Holly Banwell.

Jailing her, Mr Justice Field said drink was a major factor in the murder.

Hyde had pleaded not guilty on grounds of self-defence.

The judge told her on the night of the murder she was "very, very drunk".

Frenzied attack

He said: "You were a young teenager when you started drinking - the age of 12. By the time you were 17, you had been drinking very heavily.

"I've no doubt that drink played a major role in the commission of this offence."

Mr Francis was struck up to 17 times by the knife in what police described as a frenzied attack, the court was told.

Vincent Francis
Mr Francis died an hour after a stab wound pierced his lung

Waitress Hyde had been invited back to the flat Mr Francis and 27-year-old Ms Banwell shared for a drinking session on 4 September, but a fight broke out.

The court was told she ran at Mr Francis, knocking him to the ground, after hearing a row break out between him and Ms Banwell.

Mr Francis and Ms Banwell's relationship was described as volatile and occasionally violent.

After the stabbing, Hyde - who was 17 at the time - told Ms Banwell: "I did it for you because I don't like the way he treats you."

Hyde said she had picked up the 10.25 ins (26cm) knife because she felt threatened by Mr Francis, but the jury rejected this defence.



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