Nicholas Campbell QC and Ian Mullarkey appeared today before His Honour Judge Thackray QC, the Honorary Recorder of Hull and the East Riding, who sentenced Patrick Sean Clayton for the murder of Joseph Clark in Hull in the early hours of Tuesday 9th March, 2021.

The murder was described by His Honour as “a savage, ferocious and frenzied attack with a knife”. In the course of the trial over which he had presided in November, Mr. Clayton had admitted stabbing his victim at least fifteen times, as well as causing multiple incised wounds which had included several defence type injuries. He gave evidence to the effect that (a) he had acted in lawful self defence and, in the alternative, that (b) his intention was not sufficient to make him guilty of murder, (c) he had lost control and/or (d) his responsibility was diminished. Upon this latter point, expert psychiatric evidence adduced by the defence was rebutted by that adduced by the prosecution. Having rejected each of those defences, the jury unanimously convicted him of murder.

At the request of the father of the victim, David Clark, a victim personal statement was today read out in court by Mr. Mullarkey. It spoke eloquently of a life that had been ruined by drugs, but made the point that his son had not deserved this end, and that by it, any hope that he might have changed his ways had been dashed.

Drugs had formed the backdrop to the murder. Only hours before, the two protagonists had participated in a robbery of a drugs supplier which had yielded a large quantity of controlled drugs. They had consumed some of that haul and the Judge found that the taking of those drugs was the catalyst for the murder.

Mr. Clayton, who had turned 27 last week, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a fixed minimum term of 23 years, less time already served. He will be 49 before his case can be considered by the Parole Board.

Both counsel were indebted to the excellent teamwork displayed by those deployed to work on Humberside Police Operation Heather, and by Claire Hume and Joanne Stevenson of the Crown Prosecution Service.