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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 July, 2003, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Teenager admits sword murder
Robert Dunne
Mr Dunne died from a single wound
A teenager has admitted murdering a 31-year-old father-of-one with an ornamental samurai sword.

Jason Kelly, 19, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to killing scaffolder Robert Dunne, with the 12-inch blade he kept at his home in Middlesbrough.

A judge at Teesside Crown Court sentenced Kelly to life, with a recommendation he serve at least eight years.

Mr Dunne died from a single blow from the sword, which punctured his heart.

Teesside Crown Court heard how his powerfully-built victim was a hero to some local people, but feared by others, after he had a series of clashes with local youths.

Mr Dunne had been up most of the night before he was killed, drinking and taking cocaine and had become involved in a violent argument with a group of youths near his Teesside home, the court was told.

It was during this altercation when Kelly became involved and felled him.

Mr Dunne died on 11 January after doctors at Middlesbrough General Hospital tried to save him.

Passers-by and paramedics had earlier tried to revive Mr Dunne, who was stabbed in West Lane, Middlesbrough, a short distance from his home in Connaught Road, which he shared with girlfriend Julie and baby son Liam.

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