Killer fails to get 25-year jail term cut

Mark Spalding
Mark Spalding
Have your say

A KILLER who hunted down and stabbed a 20-year-old who stole his phone has failed to convince top judges his 25-year minimum jail term is too long.

 Mark Spalding, 46, was jailed for life in April last year after he was convicted of murdering Andrew Lucas, who died after he was cornered and stabbed in a stairwell near his flat in Warkworth Close, Washington,  

London’s Appeal Court heard.

 He was ordered to serve at least a quarter of a century behind bars before he could even apply for parole.

Spalding “trapped” Mr Lucas after chasing him up a stairway from which there was no escape route, said Mrs Justice Thirlwall, severing a major artery in his thigh by slashing him with a kitchen knife.

 His victim suffered a “catastrophic loss of blood”, said the judge, who added that Spalding left him to die and did nothing to summon help.

Spalding had gone after Andrew after believing his phone had been taken during an earlier confrontation.

 Spalding, of Kestrel Close, Ayton, Washington, challenged his 25-year minimum term, claiming it was far too harsh, given the “significant provocation” involved.

 But Mrs Justice Thirlwall, sitting with Lady Justice Macur and Judge Paul Batty QC, said the sentence was appropriate for such a brutal knife crime.

 “We cannot conclude that the sentence was manifestly excessive,” she told the court, dismissing the appeal.