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 Man sentenced to life after stabbing motorbike owner


​​A MAN who stabbed a motorbike owner to death has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his murder.

A jury at Newcastle Crown Court today convicted Richard Alexander Lee of the murder of Ryan Thompson, who died after being stabbed through the chest in Sacriston, County Durham last year.

Lee was told that he must serve at least 19 years behind bars for the attack in Gregson Street on September 1.

The court heard that, after seeing youths stealing motorbikes from a nearby garage at around 11pm, Lee armed himself with a knife and went out into a back lane to confront them.

When Ryan Thompson, the 25-year-old owner of the motorbikes, arrived on the scene moments later, an altercation took place between the two men which ended with Lee stabbing the victim in the chest.

This morning, jurors found Lee guilty of murder by a majority verdict. He was also found guilty of possessing an offensive weapon.

Lee, 25, of Viola Crescent, Sacriston, was given a life sentence for the killing.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Gosling, who led the murder inquiry, said: “This is a particularly tragic case and the investigating team has worked extremely hard over recent months.

“We would like to thank the public for the way they came forward to support the investigation – the information the local community supplied to us has ensured that justice has been done.

“We hope this verdict brings some comfort to the family of Ryan Thompson.”