A ST Helens man has been convicted of killing his neighbour, Heather Dyer.
But Paul Lyon was found guilty of manslaughter, not murder, by a majority of 10 to one after a jury deliberated over the higher charge for more than 20 hours.
They also cleared Lyon of attempting to murder Miss Dyer’s friend, William Taylor, 25, who was also stabbed in an incident on Chapel Street last summer - but convicted him of wounding.
Liverpool Crown Court heard how Lyon stabbed Miss Dyer, 22, three times with a fish filleting knife in the early hours of July 23.
The fatal attack occurred about 40 minutes after Lyon told another neighbour he was going to kill Miss Dyer if she did not stop playing loud music.
She had been due to be evicted from her flat above his home three days later following repeated complaints by Lyon, 45, about noisy conduct.
“Sadly the defendant did not wait until that date to arrive - instead he took matters into his own hands,” said Andrew Menary, QC, prosecuting.
He added: “As Heather Dyer and some of her friends were leaving her home the defendant attacked her outside her front door. He deliberately stabbed her three times to the chest and abdomen and, when friends tried to intervene, one of them, William Taylor, was also stabbed several times.
“Despite emergency treatment Heather Dyer died and, but for such treatment, William Taylor’s injuries would surely have proved fatal.”
Last summer Miss Dyer’s heartbroken mother told how her daughter’s death had “left a massive hole in our lives which will never be filled”.
She said: “My daughter was a vibrant and happy young lady with her whole life ahead of her. She was incredibly popular and was the life and soul of any gathering.
“She particularly loved it when the family was all together, she adored her family and we always came first. She loved to laugh and was a very generous person, her heart was as big as any ocean.”
A floral tribute created by friends and family outside Miss Dyer’s home described her as “a lovely girl” who “will never be forgotten”.
Lyon was further remanded in custody to await sentence on October 15.
He was taken back to Ashworth Special Hospital in Maghull where he has been on remand since January after suffering a breakdown.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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