Life in prison for South Yorkshire knife killer

John Anthony Green convicted of murdering Sammy Houghton in Barnsley
John Anthony Green convicted of murdering Sammy Houghton in Barnsley
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A MURDERER who stabbed a friend to death and left him to die in his front garden will spend at least 12 years in jail for the killing.

Sammy Haughton, aged 29, was knifed by 36-year-old John Green when he visited his home on Colley Crescent, Kendray, Barnsley.

The victim was stabbed in the face, head, chest and back with a knife Green grabbed from the kitchen.

Afterwards Green desperately tried to cover his tracks by frantically mopping up bloodstains before finally calling 999.

Mr Justice Coulson, told Sheffield Crown Court Green stabbed Mr Haughton after losing his temper, goaded by his pal’s ‘open drug-taking’ and ‘demeaning attitude’ towards him.

He added Mr Houghton, of Sunderland Terrace, Measborough Dike, must have endured ‘considerable physical suffering’ at the hands of Green, an alcoholic and cannabis user who suffered from depression.

A jury of nine men and three women yesterday convicted Green of murder following eight hours of deliberations.

The judge said Green could become ‘threatening when drunk’, and that addict Mr Houghton was also violent when high on drugs.

Mr Justice Coulson told Green: “It is overwhelmingly likely that Sammy Haughton’s open drug-taking and his at times demeaning treatment of you led you to lose your temper.

“You saw the knife in the kitchen and you stabbed him and then you stabbed him repeatedly.”

He added: “No-one will ever know precisely what happened. You are the only survivor of that fight, and your recollection is affected by alcohol and cannabis.”

Green initially claimed he found Mr Houghton injured outside, but Mr Justice Coulson said the killer ‘knew immediately’ he had murdered his pal.

“You plainly wanted to do him really serious harm but I accept you did not intend to kill him when you picked up the knife and started to stab,” he added.

“This was spontaneous.”

In a statement, Sammy’s parents Pam and Steve Haughton said Green had ‘ruined’ their lives and they were pleased with the verdict.

“We are told that time heals, but it doesn’t,” they said.

“As time goes by it becomes harder as it sinks in we will never see our son again. All we have of Sammy are our memories.”

They said it was heartbreaking to see Sammy’s seven-year-old daughter Charlize talking to him at his graveside

Det Chf Insp Sean Middleton said: “Green’s conviction of murder and sentence reflect the callousness of the crime.”

Green was given a life sentence and must serve 12 years before he can be considered for parole.