Breaking: Knife killer must serve 15 years

Jimmy Connors
Jimmy Connors
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A teenage thug who stabbed a popular Sheffield man to death a party in the city has been detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure and told he must serve at least 15 years behind bars.

Jimmy Connors, aged 17, was jailed by a judge at Sheffield Crown Court this morning for murdering Joe Walker.

Connors was among a pack of girls and boys who chased 23-year-old Joe Walker onto grassland in Manor, Sheffield, brought him to the ground and repeatedly kicked and stamped on him.

He then produced a knife and plunged it into his defenceless victim’s back before walking away ‘elated, happy and proud’ of what he had done.

He was even heard taunting Joe as he lay dying, saying: “You’re not going to do nowt are you now, not when you are laid out.”

Joe, of Hollybank Close, Intake, and 17-year-old Connors were both at a party in a flat on Waltheof Road, Manor, when violence flared last September.

Jurors heard that Joe, a construction handyman, had challenged Connors for snorting cocaine at the party and had punched him when the pair clashed outside.

He ran off when Connors produced a kitchen knife.

Jurors at Sheffield Crown Court took just two-and-a-half hours to find Connors, of Atherton Road, Arbourthorne, guilty of murder yesterday, after dismissing his claim that somebody placed the knife into his hands during a brawl with Joe, and he had lashed out without realising what it was.

Mr Justice John Griffith Williams said Connors was ‘streetwise’ and people were frightened of him.

He described him as a ‘trouble maker’ and said he had been drinking heavily on the night of the attack and although that explained what had happened it did not excuse it.

The court heard Connors wrote a letter to the judge in which he expressed his remorse for his actions but the judge said the letter was ‘self serving’.

In it he described the attack as a ‘stupid drunken mistake’.

For a full report see The Star tomorrow.