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‘Extremely dangerous’ teen jailed for life for stabbing dad, 31, with ‘combat dagger’ after row

AN “EXTREMELY dangerous” teen who fatally stabbed a dad with a “combat dagger” after a row has been caged for life.

Byron Pollock, 18, knifed Christopher Hewett, 31, as he was walking to his sister’s home in Herts, where he collapsed in a pool of blood.

St Albans Crown Court heard on Friday that Mr Hewett's nan died 10 minutes after learning of her grandson’s death.

His sister, Robyn Hewett, had opened her front door in Stevenage, Herts, to find her brother injured and being held up by their cousin.

She helped the dad-of-two into the house but he collapsed and died in her arms on February 12.

In July Pollock - then aged 17 - and a boy, 15, had gone on trial accused of Mr Hewett's murder on the Bedwell estate.

The older boy was found guilty of murder.

The other lad, who had been armed with a baseball bat, was cleared of the charge by the jury, but convicted of manslaughter.

At the time of the killing and the subsequent trial, the press was prevented from naming both teenagers because of their ages.

But earlier this month, while in custody awaiting today’s sentence, Pollock turned 18.

Following a request, Judge Michael Kay QC lifted the restriction that had granted the boy anonymity.

He told the killer: “This is yet another shocking and tragic example of what can occur when young men carry knives.”

The court had heard how Mr Hewett and his cousin Terry Wales were making their way to his sister’s house when they passed a group of youths near some shops shortly after 9pm.

Prosecutor Paul Cavin QC said words were exchanged, with one accusing the victim of sending his mum “dodgy messages".

Mr Calvin said Chris Hewett replied that he didn’t know what they were talking about and walked on with his cousin.

But, as they approached his sister's house, "the group was behind them,” said the barrister.

He said the 15-year-old was holding a baseball bat and smashed Mr Wales’ elbow.

Mr Hewett also received a blow from the bat and was grappling with the younger boy, when Pollock came from behind and stabbed him.

Mr Wales told the jury: “I was holding Chris in my arms.

"I said to Robyn to ring an ambulance. There was blood everywhere.

Chris Hewett, 31, was fatally stabbed and beaten with a baseball bat in Stevenage, HertsCredit : sbna_fairleys

"I put as much pressure as I could on his ribs. The blood was coming through my fingers. He died in my arms.”

Pollock had told the jury that he had “run over and punched Chris.

"Terry hit me a couple of times. I was trying to get Chris off - that’s when I think I stabbed Chris.

"I think I stabbed him two to three times. It was just to get him (the younger boy) out of the headlock. I didn’t mean to hurt him."

His barrister Lewis Power QC asked: “Did you mean to kill him?” He replied: "I panicked. I regret it so much.”

The court heard Pollock had a previous conviction for grievous bodily harm with intent, when he stabbed a man from behind outside a pub in Stevenage in December 2018.

For that offence he received four years in a young offenders' institute.

The judge told him: “The only view I can have if you is that you are an extremely dangerous young man.”

He described the knife Pollock was carrying that night as a “combat dagger”.

The judge said Mr Hewett and his cousin had suffered “the terrible misfortune” to walk near the defendants by the shops.

He said the boys had been drinking and smoking cannabis and, following the row, perceived wrongly that they had been shown disrespect by the older men and had “lost face in front of their friends".

He said both the teens had approached the men from different directions for their attack.

Byron Pollock was 17 years old after he stabbed the dad to death Credit: sbna_fairleys

The judge added: “There is only one sentence in law for the charge of murder for someone aged 17 and that is detention at her Majesty’s pleasure which is the equivalent of a life sentence and that is the sentence I pass on you.”

He told Pollock the minimum term he would have to serve before he could be considered for release by the parole board is 19 years, less time spent on remand.

The court heard that Mr Hewett and his partner had planned to get married.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, his fiancee Clair Wellington said she had lost her “soul mate”.

She added: “He will never get to see me in my wedding dress.”

The 15 year old boy who had taken part in the attack on Mr Hewett and his cousin should have been sentenced today, but his barrister failed to arrive for the hearing.

He will be sentenced next month.

A third defendant Ryan Lee, now 20 of Stevenage, was convicted by the jury of assisting offenders after he arranged for the other two teens to travel to Wakefield in West Yorkshire after the killing.

He was sentenced to two years and eight months jail.

This was handed down after the judge heard that despite granting him bail so he could watch the birth of his baby, he was arrested just two weeks ago for carrying a knife.

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