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A pedestrian who stabbed a driver to death in front of his young son after the motorist made an emergency stop to avoid hitting him will be jailed for life.
Alexander Layton, 34, was convicted of murdering James Stokoe, a 40-year-old married father, in his BMW in Thornaby, Teesside, in May 2020, following a trail in Teesside Crown Court.
Stokoe had taken his four-year-old son to see his grandparents and the boy was tied to a car seat during the horrific attack.
Peter Makepeace QC, the prosecutor, told jurors that Layton had gotten off a bus after a trif to a food bank when he crossed a busy main street, causing Stokoe to brake sharply.
The driver was angry and stopped to yell at Layton, unaware that he was carrying a kitchen knife in his backpack.
The defendant approached the car and, with his victim still behind the wheel, stabbed him repeatedly, causing him to bleed to death within minutes.
In a statement issued through the Cleveland Police, they said: “Nothing will bring back our beloved James and we have to live with the consequences of what happened for the rest of our lives.
“He was a beloved husband, father, son-in-law and son-in-law and we all miss him deeply.
“James was appreciated by so many people with his wonderful , kind and gentle nature, and the loss of him to all of us is unimaginable.”
Peter Makepeace QC, the prosecutor, told the jury that Layton “expressed extreme aggression” and that there were a series of escalating threats in the hours leading up to the fatal stabbing.
Following Layton’s arrest at a pizzeria in Great Ayton the night after the alleged murder, he claimed that he acted in self-defense.
- Alexander Layton, 34, stabbed James Stokoe, 40, to death in front of his son, 4
- Layton crossed a busy road, leading Mr Stokoe to brake sharply and shout at him
- In response, Layton walked over to Mr Stokoe’s car and stabbed him repeatedly
- The jury convicted Layton of murder and possessing an offensive weapon after deliberating for less than three hours and he will be sentenced Tuesday
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