Two drug-dealing step brothers from Chichester have been jailed for serious knife crimes - one of which resulted in the death of teenager Luke Jeffrey.
Samuel Morgan, 20, or Adelaide Road, Chichester, was handed a four-year prison sentence for possession of a knife in a public place over the death of Mr Jeffrey, who was 18 when he was fatally injured by a single knife wound on March 11, 2016.
In passing sentence today, judge Christine Laing QC said Mr Jeffrey’s death over a £20 drug dispute an ‘utterly senseless loss of life’.
But, she said, she had to respect the fact that a jury had earlier cleared Morgan of both murder and manslaughter.
Morgan was also sentenced to a further two years, to run consecutively, for his part in a separate incident on April 19, 2015, in which his step-brother, Brandon Attwater, 18, admitted stabbing Simon Wilmott in the stomach.
Attwater, who was 16 at the time, was jailed for five years at a sentencing at Hove Crown Court.
Mr Wilmott, a Chichester College student like Mr Jeffrey, required life-saving surgery after being stabbed by Attwater and remained in intensive care for three days.
The court heard how Morgan arranged a fake drug deal with Mr Wilmott to lure him close to Chichester Festival Theatre, so he, Attwater and another, unidentified man, could set on him in a pre-planned attack.
At an earlier trial, Morgan was found not guilty of knowing Attwater had been carrying a knife or planning to stab Mr Wilmott in the attack on April 19, 2015.
Attwater pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was handed a five-year sentence.
Sentencing Morgan, judge Laing QC said: ‘Given a jury found you not guilty of either murder or manslaughter, I have to sentence you on the basis that you possessed the knife not intending to do Luke Jeffrey any serious harm.
‘But by taking the knife the risk of serious harm was very real and this action by you ended with tragic consequences.’
Morgan was sentenced to a total of six years; four for possession of a knife in a public place on March 11, 2016; and two years for unlawful wounding on April 19, 2015.
Both Morgan and Attwater will serve their sentences at a young offenders’ institute because of their age.