'I accept you did not intend to kill him' - Judge jails man who killed Sheffield dad-of-two Rory Hemmings

A man convicted of the murder of Sheffield dad-of-two Rory Hemmings has been handed a life sentence.

Thursday, 12th May 2016, 1:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2016, 1:55 pm
Steven Ray

Mr Hemmings was stabbed in the chest after a fight inside his ex-partner Kirsty Allen's home on Errington Crescent in Arbourthorne last November.

Steven Ray, aged 36, of Thornebrough Road, Heeley was convicted of murder by majority verdict yesterday.

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

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In court today, Mr Justice Stephen Males told Ray he accepted he 'did not' have the intention to kill Mr Hemmings after the stab victim barged in to his ex-partners home shouting and swearing. He was handed 12 years in prison.

Ray bowed his head as he was lead away and one of his supporters shouted: 'We all love you Steven'.

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’.

Ray then tried to save Mr Hemmings who performed CPR and mouth to mouth resuscitations through instructions from a 999 operator.

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

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.

But the jury did not take Ray's view and delivered their verdict in 11 hours and 59 minutes.

Shaun Smith QC, defending Ray, asked Mr Justice Stephen Males to lower the sentencing starting point for murder.

"There was no intention to kill him," Mr Smith QC said.

"The Crown have also said he did all he could to save this man. He did not want this man to die."

Mr Smith QC added Ray has shown 'genuine remorse' for what he has done and deserved some credit for 'turning his life around' after overcoming a heroin addiction.

Sentencing Ray today, Mr Justice Stephen Males said: "The jury have rejected your defence that you stabbed Rory in lawful self-defence, and have found you intended either to kill him or at least to cause him really serious bodily harm. They also rejected any possible defence of loss of control.

"There are in this case no aggravating factors. On the other hand, as your counsel has submitted and the prosecution have agreed, there are a number of mitigating factors.

"I accept that you did not intent to kill Rory Hemmings. Your intention was to cause him really serious harm but not to kill him.

"There was no premeditation. You had no thought of causing serious harm to Rory Hemmings when you came downstairs.

"This was a case of excessive force in the defence not only of yourself, but of Kirsty Allen and the children with a degree of provocation by Rory Hemmings. Until you used the knife, your attempts to remove Rory were legitimate. I accept also accept you had good reason to believe that Rory was likely to use violence on Kirsty.

"Nevertheless, the jury have determined your use of the knife was unreasonable and disproportionate in circumstances where Rory had not himself produced any weapon.

"Immediately after the stabbing, you had desperate attempts to save Rory's life. Sadly, by then it was too late."

Richard Woolfall, on behalf of the Crown, read a victim impact statement from Mr Hemmings' mother Elaine Anderson.

She described Rory as 'no angel' but added he 'did not deserve to die in this way'.

"We all miss Rory very much and chain in our family is now missing, the chain has been broken," She said.

"I feel a part of me is now missing, a part of me has changed. I know that nothing can be done to bring him back."