‘Cold blooded murder’ - Man found guilty of killing father-of-two in brutal knife attack

Roland Heinbergs and the scene of the murder on Rose Lane. Photo: Police

Roland Heinbergs and the scene of the murder on Rose Lane. Photo: Police - Credit: Archant

A jury has taken less than an hour to find a man guilty of stabbing to death a father-of-two in Norwich.

David Hastings Picture: Norfolk Police

David Hastings Picture: Norfolk Police - Credit: Archant

David Hastings, 48, suffered 13 stab wounds including a fatal one to the heart in a brutal attack, Norwich Crown Court has been told.

Mr Hastings, formerly of Long Row, Norwich, was knifed in his back, chest, neck and mouth, while walking away from Rose Lane car park with his girlfriend in the early hours of June 23, last year.

Rolands Heinbergs, 23, of no fixed address, had pleaded not guilty to his murder, but declined to give evidence in his defence, after the prosecution closed its case.

The jury of five men and seven women took just 51 minutes to find Heinbergs guilty of murder.


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There was no emotion from Heinbergs as the verdict was announced, although there was a quiet sob from those supporting Mr Hastings in the public gallery.

Judge Stephen Holt warned Heinbergs that a lengthy prison sentence will be inevitable. He is due to be sentenced today (Tuesday).

Rolands Heinbergs. Photo: Norfolk police

Rolands Heinbergs. Photo: Norfolk police - Credit: Archant

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The jury had heard closing speeches in the case before the judge summed up his case on Monday afternoon (June 10).

In his final speech to the jury, prosecutor Wayne Cleaver said it was a clear case of murder and described it as a "savage" attack.

He said Heinbergs had given no answers to the court about the events of that night and said: "He does not tell you because he has got no answer. This was cold blooded murder."

Andrew Oliver, for Heinbergs, told the jury that the defendant had given no positive defence in his case.

He said: "As a result, there was little if any challenge to the witnesses the prosection has called."

However he said he would be failing in his duty if he did not say to the jury that they should consider any verdict with care and attention as the defendant was charged with one of the most "grave and serious" crimes in the criminal calendar.

Rolands Heinbergs PIC: From Rolands Heinberg's Facebook page

Rolands Heinbergs PIC: From Rolands Heinberg's Facebook page - Credit: Archant

The trial has heard that Mr Hastings was a complete stranger to the defendant and was in the "wrong place at the wrong time" when the incident occurred.

The court was told how Heinbergs arrived in the UK from Latvia in January, last year.

He found work initially with a delivery firm and then found work at a Suffolk food business before he came to Norwich on June 21.

A police cordon at Rose Lane car park after the fatal stabbing in June 2018. A man is on trial in No

A police cordon at Rose Lane car park after the fatal stabbing in June 2018. A man is on trial in Norwich accused of the murder of David Hastings. Picture: Dominic Gilbert - Credit: Archant

Flowers left at the scene of Rose Lane murder. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Flowers left at the scene of Rose Lane murder. PIC: Peter Walsh. - Credit: Archant

Forensic investigators searching the car park behind Rose Lane. Photo: Melissa Jane Porter

Forensic investigators searching the car park behind Rose Lane. Photo: Melissa Jane Porter - Credit: Melissa Jane Porter

Picture of David Hastings (right) left at Rose Lane. PIC: Peter Walsh

Picture of David Hastings (right) left at Rose Lane. PIC: Peter Walsh - Credit: Archant

Forensic investigators at Rose Lane car park. Pic: Peter Walsh.

Forensic investigators at Rose Lane car park. Pic: Peter Walsh. - Credit: Archant

Forensic investigators at Rose Lane car park. Pic: Peter Walsh.

Forensic investigators at Rose Lane car park. Pic: Peter Walsh. - Credit: Archant

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