THE man accused of killing Black Country hairdresser Stuart Roe has pleaded guilty to murdering him by stabbing him through the heart after a chance drunken encounter.

Martyn Turley, aged 58, of Whitehouse Street, Tipton, entered a guilty plea at Birmingham Crown Court today (Wednesday) just a day after his murder trial got underway.

He had originally denied murdering Mr Roe, who he stabbed to death in the street after the 34-year-old left the Britannia pub in Halesowen Street, Rowley Regis, on December 30 last year.

The court heard how a chance meeting while the two men were walking home from separate pubs left Stuart Roe dead and Martyn Turley facing life in prison.

Stourbridge News:

Prosecution barrister Jonas Hankin QC had told the court Stuart Roe and Turley crossed paths while both drunk.

He said: "The two men met by chance on their way home after they had each enjoyed a night out at separate locations with their own friends.

"They were both drunk. When their paths crossed they were antagonistic towards one another. There appears to have been some sort of confrontation between them, but the evidence does not reveal its nature.

"After six minutes, during which time the two men are walking in the same direction, sometimes interacting with one another and on occasions walking apart, the two men parted company and continued separately on their journeys home.

"However, what followed indicates there must have been a significant falling out between the two men.

"Turley walked a short distance to his partner's home and armed himself with a knife before going back outside to confront and stab Stuart in the chest, killing him.

"The killing was captured on CCTV."

The court heard Mr Roe had been drinking in the Malt Shovel pub in Rowley Regis, but left just after 1am, after having had around six pints.

He then went to the Britannia pub, but he wasn't served as it was closing.

He left and made his way to Olive Hill Road - at the same time Turley was walking on the same road - he was walking to his partner's home in Greenhill Road after a night out with friends.

The two men's paths crossed at 1.20am.

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

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

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

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

A member of the public saw Mr Roe at 1.39am and called an ambulance, but he could not be saved.

Police found a pair of jeans at Turley's partner's home with Stuart Roe's blood on them.

Turley had denied he had killed Mr Roe, arguing it was not him on the CCTV at the fatal moment, but in a shock turn of events this morning (Wednesday) he changed his plea and admitted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

The family of Mr Roe, who owned Mr Trim barbers in Quarry Bank High Street, breathed a sigh of relief at the admission which followed a day of evidence in which CCTV of the incident was shown.

Turley now faces life behind bars. He will be sentenced on December 17.