Convicted Sunderland killer back in court after stabbing neighbour with a fork

Stephen Lakeman attacked his neighbour with a fork.
Stephen Lakeman attacked his neighbour with a fork.

A man who killed his brother in a knife attack has been back in court - for stabbing a neighbour in the neck with a fork.

Stephen Lakeman stabbed his brother Charles during an argument at the home they shared in Sunderland in 2004.

The 39-year-old died from a single stab wound to the heart.

Later that year, Lakeman was sentenced to six years behind bars after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of provocation at Newcastle Crown Court.

Lakeman, 46, today appeared back at the same court for a fork attack in May.

Prosecutor Jolyon Perks told the court Lakeman had been accused of recording a private conversation with neighbour Stuart Patterson on his mobile phone.

When Mr Patterson confronted Lakeman and demanded that the recording be deleted, Lakeman attacked him.

Mr Perks told the court: "He had a fork in his hand. He then used that fork to lunge forward and stab the complainant to the left side of his neck.

"There was grappling and the defendant dropped the fork."

The court heard Mr Patterson was left with two puncture wounds to his neck, but did not need any hospital treatment.

Judge Edward Bindloss sentenced Lakeman to a community order for two years with rehabilitation requirements.

The court heard Lakeman has already served the equivalent of a 12-month jail term on remand for the fork attack.

Judge Bindloss said the time Lakeman spent on remand meant he has spent long enough behind bars for what he did, and professional help to reduce the risk he poses will better protect the public.

Referring to his manslaughter conviction, the judge told him: "That too was an offence of violence. It is an aggravating feature of this offence, notwithstanding it was 12 years ago."

Jamie Adams, defending, said Lakeman leads a depressed and lonely life and had been using alcohol and inhaling butane gas.

He added: "Thankfully they weren't serious injuries here."

The court heard Lakeman is not heavily convicted other than the manslaughter conviction, which he finds "very difficult" to talk about.

Lakeman, of Toward Road, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to assault.