Man found guilty of killing Sheffield dad-of-two Rory Hemmings

Steven Ray has been found guilty of murder
Steven Ray has been found guilty of murder

A man on trial accused of killing Sheffield dad Rory Hemmings has been found guilty of his murder.

Mr Hemmings, aged 29, dad to girls aged four and eight, died after he was stabbed in the chest after a fight inside his ex-partner Kirsty Allen’s home on Errington Crescent in Arbourthorne.

Mr Hemmings collapsed outside his ex-partner Kirsty Allen's home on Errington Crescent in Arbourthorne

Mr Hemmings collapsed outside his ex-partner Kirsty Allen's home on Errington Crescent in Arbourthorne

Steven Ray, 36, her new partner, denied murder but did admit to stabbing Mr Hemmings’ in a fight witnessed by the victim’s two young girls on November 15 last year.

The jury returned a majority murder verdict of 11-1 which was met by gasps and cries from the packed public gallery.

Ray's supporters fled the public gallery in tears with one shouting 'love you' to him. Mr Hemmings' family hugged and consoled each other after the verdict came in.

As the killer was lead away, Ray shouted towards the jury 'You're wrong' before glancing up at his family.

Mr Justice Stephen Males offered the jury a manslaughter conviction alongside the murder charge Ray was on trial for.

The jury were told to consider if Ray had used ‘reasonable’ force’ and if the act was in self-defence.

Six men and six women came back with the majority verdict of murder in 11 hours and 59 minutes

Sheffield Crown Court previously heard during the altercation, the defendant picked up a four inch steak knife from the kitchen draining rack and stabbed Mr Hemmings in the chest with ‘some force’.
But Ray then tried to save Mr Hemmings who performed CPR and mouth to mouth resuscitations through instructions from a 999 operator.

Ray, who stands at 5"2, said he acted in self-defence and told the court he saw Mr Hemmings heading for a knife on the kitchen draining rack.

The defendant accepted he picked up the knife and stabbed Mr Hemmings once in the chest.

Richard Woolfall, prosecuting, told the jury Mr Hemmings had split up with his ex-partner Kirsty Allen. They had two children together during their 11 year relationship.

Mr Woolfall told the jury the victim was upset about the break up and the night before his death, he had been drinking and smoking cannabis with friends.

The court heard Mr Hemmings had attended a birthday party the night before and was told by a friend that he slept with Ms Allen during their relationship.

Around 8am, Mr Hemmings ‘barged’ into the house in a rage and was shouting and swearing at Ms Allen before Ray came downstairs and asked him to leave.

The pair began to fight before the fatal incident occurred.

Ms Allen, who was originally arrested as part of the murder probe, took to the stand at Sheffield Crown Court as a key witness during the trial.

She had told police at one point during the fight between Ray and Mr Hemmings, she ‘cowered in a corner’ of the kitchen, clutching her sobbing young children.

Ms Allen added Mr Hemmings had been violent towards her during their relationship.

In a police interview Ray told police Mr Hemmings was gesturing to his pocket and thought he would use something to hurt him with.

He told police he was scared for the safety of Ms Allen and her two children.

Police did find two small knives on Mr Hemmings but the prosecution claim it never left his pocket during the fight.

Ray will be sentenced by Mr Justice Males tomorrow