POLICE have welcomed the guilty verdict on Sean Bailey after a jury found him guilty of murdering Simon Warton in a drink and drug-fuelled attack.
The nine men and three women of the jury found Bailey, 29, guilty after four hours of deliberation at the end of the 10-day trial at Winchester Crown Court.
Lead officer on the case, Detective Inspector Guy Robyns, of the major crime unit at Fratton, said: ‘I’m very pleased with the verdict.
‘Bailey has been shown to be a very violent individual and this offence appears to be fuelled by his possessiveness of his girlfriend and jealousy of her apparently just communicating with other male friends on Facebook.
‘His previous convictions show him to be a violent individual and together with alcohol and drugs that he had taken on the evening it resulted in violence and unprovoked attack on Simon Warton that ended in his death.’
Bailey showed no emotion as the foreman read out the unanimous verdict, but there was an emphatic shout of ‘Yes!’ from the public gallery.
And the prosecution are pushing for Bailey to be locked up for a minimum of 25 years.
Bailey, of Robin Gardens, Wecock, stabbed the father-of-one after a fight outside a house party in Curlew Gardens, Wecock.
Mr Warton, 27, had been trying to comfort Bailey’s 16-year-old girlfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, after the couple had been arguing inside the house.
But Bailey, who had been drinking and had taken legal high mephedrone, or meow meow, became jealous, grabbed four knives from the home’s kitchen and stabbed Mr Warton in the early hours of April 12.
Mr Warton, of Orsmond Close, Waterlooville, died in the street.
The jury rejected Bailey’s claim that he had been set upon by Mr Warton and brothers Bradley Woodacre and Matthew Mourne in the home’s kitchen, and stabbed Mr Warton as he grabbed a knife off the counter from behind him and used it in self-defence.
Prosecuting barrister Miranda Moore QC said: ‘This is a case we would submit with a 25-year starting point for sentence... life with a minimum of 25 years.’
At the party, the jury heard how Bailey and his teen girlfriend went upstairs and started fighting.
They were told that Bailey could be heard accusing her of what he thought was unfaithful behaviour – she had unblocked someone on Facebook so they could carry on talking to her.
Mr Warton, Mr Woodacre and Mr Mourne went upstairs and found Bailey pinning his girlfriend to the bed with his hands around her throat.
The court heard in evidence how Bailey’s girlfriend thought she was going to die when he attacked her on the night of the murder.
In an interview shown on DVD to the jury, the girl, who is no longer in a relationship with Bailey, told police he attacked her shortly before the murder, fearing she would cheat on him.
She said: ‘He had his hands around my throat, grabbed it and pushed my throat into the mattress. He was doing it for quite a while. I actually thought I was going to die. ‘
After breaking up the fight, the owner of the house told all of them to leave.
One party guest had said she saw Bailey leave the house with a ‘huge knife’ in his right hand.
And a neighbour heard shouting: ‘I am going to hurt you if you go near her again.’
Four knives were found by police. One in the front garden of the house hosting the party, and two blood-stained knives, including a six-inch bread knife, in the front garden of a neighbour’s house on the corner of Curlew Gardens and Dove Close.
Another knife was found in a drain.
Bailey was arrested by police at a flat in Southampton House, Broadmere Avenue, Leigh Park, on April 14.
Patrick Gibbs defending said Bailey had expressed remorse for his actions and said: ‘He’s very sorry that his friend has died.’
Mr Justice Ian Hamblen reserved the case to himself for sentencing on Monday morning so he could consider the legal submissions over the weekend.