A MAN will serve life in prison for murdering hairdresser Stuart Roe on a Halesowen street last Christmas.

Martyn Turley was sentenced to spend a minimum of 19 years and 13 days in jail for killing 34-year-old Stuart in Springfield Drive on December 29 last year.

Mr Justice Johnson branded the murder, in which the 58-year-old knifed Mr Roe in the heart, "utterly unprovoked and truly senseless" at the sentencing hearing at Birmingham Crown Court on December 17.

In a personal impact statement made on behalf of the family, Mr Roe's cousin Justine Walker, described her loved one as a "kind hearted family man who is desperately missed."

She added: "We all miss him desperately and are still numb about what has happened. A huge hole has been created and the shock, anger and despair has not been any easier." 

Turley, who was self-employed and worked in architecture, had initially denied murder, but changed his plea to guilty on the first day of his trial by jury back in November.

The court heard how Turley and Mr Roe had never met before and bumped into each other in the street as they were on their way home from separate nights out.

The pair headed home from their respective nights out at around the same time, but took separate routes before coming face to face for the first time on Olive Hill Road at around 1.20am.

Less than fifteen minutes later avid Wolves fan Stuart was stabbed to death on Springfield Drive.

Stourbridge News: Stuart RoeStuart Roe

What happened in the time between these events is captured on CCTV, but as the footage has no sound, exactly what happened isn't known.

CCTV on Olive Hill Road showed Turley grabbing a metal bar from a skip, while Stuart armed himself with a rock.

They walked into Springfield Drive when Turley went ahead and into his partner's nearby home, coming out with a knife.

Turley then stabbed former Leasowes High pupil Stuart twice in the chest with one blow to his heart, falling over drunk as he landed the blows.

Stuart collapsed and Turley left him to die, calmly walking back to his partner's home at 1.38am.

Turley had claimed that he believed Mr Roe to be in possession of a knife but Mr Justice Johnson said he was sure Mr Roe did not have a knife as there was no evidence and no knife was found when emergency services arrived.

The judge also slammed Turley's claim that he pulled the metal bar from the skip to use for car parts as a "ridiculous lie".

Justice Johnson told Turley: "He was not threatening you and he did not approach your house. You took a knife from the house and went out in search of him. You found him and you stabbed him." 

Justin Rouse QC, defending Turley, described him as a man of previous good character, who had no previous convictions and had never been violent in the past.

Character references described him as "quiet, kind and considerate" and he was said to have a placid nature.

Mr Rouse told the court how Turley had tried to take his own life following the murder as he was so distressed by his actions. 

Mr Justice Johnson said his previous good character was a mitigating factor in sentencing, as he ordered Turley spend a minimum of 19 years and 13 days in jail.

Turley, of Whitehouse Street, Tipton, was also sentenced to three years and six months, to run concurrently to his life sentence, for possessing an offensive weapon.