The family of Ilkeston dad Paul Averill who was stabbed to death by Santino Genovese as he slept in bed say they can finally start to grieve.
Genovese, 24, was sentenced to life in prison by Judge Micheal Stokes QC at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday for the manslaughter of Mr Averill, 30, and the attempted murder of Jason Goodace at a house in Charlotte Street, Ilkeston in the early hours of September 11, 2014.
He pleaded guilty to the charges on grounds of diminished responsibility.
The court had previously heard how Genovese stabbed the men with a 21cm long blade while they slept. Both men had numerous stab wounds.
Speaking to the Advertiser after the sentencing, Paul’s sister, Claire Averill, said: “Over the last 14 months we’ve lived a never ending nightmare which we all hope to wake up from . We lost a brother, a son, a friend and a father the day that Paul was killed, and the loss is something we will feel for the rest of our lives. It’s still hard to believe that young, genuine, talented, kind man who we all loved will never walk through our doors again.
“Today is the first step for the family and friends of Paul in our journey to finally start grieving and finally move forward. We are grateful that the sentence is wholly appropriate justice for Paul’s death and will continue achieving in his name and ensure he lives on in all of us.”
She also thanked Derbyshire Constabulary and the CPS for the work they had done in seeing justice done, and thanked them for the support they had given to the family.
Paul Averill had lived at the Charlotte Street house for five years as a lodger with Genovese and Genovese’s mum. He was due to set off on a trip around Europe on the day he died.
Had it not been for police already being in attendance at a nearby armed robbery at One Stop and forcing entry to the house Jason Goodacre would not have survived.
Mr Stokes QC said that there was no doubt a degree of premeditation in the attacks - Genovese had locked all the doors and hid the keys. Mr Stokes said he had clearly intended to kill.
He said: “Jason Goodacre made a good recovery. Paul Averill was not so fortunate. When Genovese left Jason Goodacre for dead he climbed the staircase and left stains on the staircase consistent with swinging a blood stained knife. Evidence shows that Mr Averill woke up to Genovese stabbing him and was heard to shout ‘No Santino’ before he lost consciousness’.”
He added that family had been left bereft by Paul’s death “I have no doubt that they will begin each day with recollections of their son and brother.
“Many who live much longer will not achieve what he achieved.”
Genovese was in custody until May when he was moved to a secure mental hospital. He was diagnosed with mental health issues, including an anxiety disorder and paranoid schizophrenia, after the vicious attack. One doctor said his use of cannabis aggravated his illness. It was also stated he had been known to exaggerate his illness.
Genovese will spend time in the secure hospital before being returned to prison where he will serve a minimum of 12 years. He will only be released when a decision to do so is made by the parole board.