BREAKING NEWS: Lockhart jailed for 13 years for stabbing dad to death

Leon Lockhart.
Leon Lockhart.

A drug addict has been jailed for 13 years for the manslaughter of Daniel Baker.

The dad-of-one died after being stabbed through the heart in South Normanton last summer.

Leon Lockhart, of Carter Lane East, South Normanton, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday.

Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Macintyre, who led the investigation, said: “Today’s sentence reflects the gravity of the offence and that people who carry knives, and use them, will face the consequences of their actions.

“I hope Mr Baker’s family can now try to move on with their lives after a difficult seven months.”

The court heard how Lockhart, 32, and his then-girlfriend Michaela Griffiths bumped into Mr Baker “by chance” on a bus on Thursday, July 18. Lockhart and Mr Baker knew each other from previous stints in jail.

The three spent the day together taking drugs and Mr Baker slept on the pair’s settee.

The following day, they took about ten grams of MCAT between them.

Lockhart told jurors he asked Mr Baker to leave him and Griffiths alone that night – then stabbed the 32-year-old in self-defence after he pointed a knife at him.

However, the prosecution said it was “paranoid” Lockhart who pulled the blade on Mr Baker before “plunging” it into his chest, causing a 15cm-deep wound.

The jury heard how Griffiths arrived at her parents’ home to collect some washing the morning after the killing.

Soon after she left, her mother discovered “three strange knives” in her cutlery drawer.

Her father called police and his 24-year-old daughter and Lockhart were arrested shortly after on suspicion of murdering Mr Baker.

Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, said it was an agreed fact that Griffiths bought the knives as part of a set of five from Argos in May last year.

A fourth knife – the smallest – was found beside the bed at Griffiths’ and Lockhart’s home.

Mr Joyce said the fifth knife, which was the longest and had not been found, was believed to have been the murder weapon.

Griffiths – no longer charged with murder – has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

She was handed a 12-month community order.

Lockhart, who repeatedly declined to answer questions from detectives after he was arrested, told the court he started taking drugs at the age of 12 because he “wanted to rebel”.

The dad-of-two – who denied murder – had abused cannabis, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin and said he injected MCAT in toilets, phone boxes, at the back of buses and even in local parks.

Mr Baker, of Derby, was found by a couple slumped on the pavement of Carter Lane West shortly before 11.30pm on Friday, July 19.

They tried to resuscitate him as he lay dying on the street but he was declared dead on arrival at King’s Mill Hospital.