A murder victim died on the anniversary of his father’s death after being violently stabbed by his friend in an argument over a mobile phone.
Daryl Fowler, 28, died the day after being assaulted by his friend Lee Wall on September 11 last year.
Newcastle Crown Court was told how Mr Fowler and his girlfriend had visited Wall and his girlfriend Emma Brown at an address in Gateshead’s Leam Lane estate.
But upon their arrival all four got involved in a heated argument over the sale of a mobile phone which cumulated in violence.
The court was told how that cumulated in Wall, 43, stabbing Mr Fowler twice in the abdomen. He then made his way into the street where he collapsed.
During a 999 call for an ambulance, Wall was heard encouraging Mr Fowler’s girlfriend to say “two men” had stabbed him before fleeing the scene.
He and Brown, 29, were later caught on CCTV discarding the murder weapon down a drain. It was later recovered by police.
Mr Fowler was rushed to hospital where he underwent emergency surgery, but sadly died the next day, on the third anniversary of his own father’s death.
Wall, of Chevington, Leam Lane, was arrested and later changed his story to say he had stabbed his friend in self-defence.
He was charged with murder but pleaded not guilty before being convicted by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday.
Following the convictions, the detective leading the murder investigation at Northumbria Police said Mr Fowler’s death could have easily been avoided.
Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Dodds said: “This is a tragic case that has taken a son, brother and grandson from his family.
“It will see another man spend the foreseeable future in prison.
“All four individuals involved in this incident spent most of the day together before an argument over a mobile phone descended into violence.
“Lee Wall fatally stabbed a man he considered a friend and has shown no remorse throughout the investigation, or the subsequent trial. Instead he’s done everything he can to evade justice.
“I welcome the verdict of the jury and I hope that the fact Wall will spend a significant period of time in prison will bring some comfort to Mr Fowler’s family.”
Lee Wall, who had previously pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, will appear at Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing on March 5.