Tuesday 4 October 2016

Man Who Murdered Best Friend After Petty Row Got Out Of Hand Is Jailed For Life

Jovan Martin
A man murdered his best friend in a vicious street attack - just weeks after trying to blame him for stabbing a taxi driver.

Jovan Martin, 26, repeatedly stabbed popular dad-of-one Kyle Hand to death in a violent street attack after a petty row escalated in Gorton, Manchester, earlier this year.

He has now been jailed for life and told he will serve a minimum of 27 years behind bars after being convicted of murder.

The Manchester Evening News reports Martin was also convicted of stabbing a taxi driver in October last year - but tried to blame his murdered friend during his trial at Manchester Crown Court earlier this month.

Kyle Hand was stabbed to death in the street in Gorton

Heated scenes broke out between the two families at Preston Crown Court after the jury unanimously found Martin guilty of murdering Mr Hand.

MENKyle Hand was stabbed to death in the street in GortonKyle Hand was stabbed to death in the street
In a moving victim impact statement, Mr Hand’s sister Adele Ryan told the court: “We feel devastated. Our lives will never be the same again.

“Everything stopped as soon as we knew Kyle could not be saved.”

During the trial the court heard the men had been drinking together and had gone back to a friend’s house in Sunny Brow Road, Gorton.

A row broke out after Mr Hand was accused by Martin of disrespecting another friend.

During the argument, Mr Hand struck Martin with a small window hammer.

The row spilled out into the street, where Martin knocked Mr Hand to the floor and stabbed him repeatedly and viciously.

One neighbour described seeing Martin kneeling on Mr Hand, making stabbing motions to his upper body as Mr Hand lay on the ground.

Mr Hand suffered five deep knife wounds including a 14cm deep cut to his neck, which severed his major artery.

Emergency services were called at around 9.15pm, but Mr Hand could not be saved,

Judge Pamela Badley, sentencing, said: “There were knife wounds to the back of both legs and his back, showing that at some stage Mr Hand was trying to get away from you. He was unable to do so.”

At the time of the attack Martin was on court bail with a condition he must not contact Mr Hand - who was present when he slashed taxi driver Fred David across the face, and tried to prevent the attack.

However neither of the men had complied with that requirement, the court heard.

The judge added: “You were a close friend of his. Many witnesses and you yourself describe your relationship as like that of brothers.

“No sentence can bring him back but it is right his memory should be cherished.”

Miss Ryan told the court: “Kyle was a home bird who loved his family. He took being a father very seriously. His son stays with us frequently at weekends.

“One of our neighbours told us since Kyle’s death he has been devastated. He said Kyle helped him feel safe and secure.

“As a family we have always been quick to make up if there were any fallings out. Kyle was always the first to encourage people to make up and move on.

“Kyle was loved by everyone. He recently told us he loved Jovan like a brother and would always have his back.

“Jovan has ripped the heart out of our family and no matter what sentence is passed it will never be enough to fill the hole in our lives.”

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