Man faces sentence for fatal stabbing over £10 drugs debt

A murder investigation was launched in North Walsham after the incident. Photo: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Police on the scene in North Walsham after Thomas Moore was fatally stabbed by Matthew Constantinou. - Credit: Archant

A 42-year-old convicted of knifing another man to death in the street will be sentenced today for manslaughter.

Thomas Moore, 42, went with his friend Ricky Marshall to retrieve the £10 Mr Marshall said he was owed by Matthew Constantinou for cannabis.

Matthew Constantinou

Matthew Constantinou - Credit: Facebook

Norwich Crown Court heard the pair turned up at Constantinou’s address, a bungalow where he lived with his mother in Antingham Drive, North Walsham, to get the cash back.

But the men were chased from the address by Constantinou, who was “swinging a baseball bat”.

Jurors were told they were chased onto Bacton Road where, close to the junction of Melbourne Road, Mr Moore was fatally stabbed.

Matthew Constantinou appeared in court on Tuesday, October 6, charged with murdering Thomas Moore on

Matthew Constantinou is to be sentenced after being found guilty of the manslaughter of Thomas Moore in North Walsham. - Credit: Archant

Constantinou had gone on trial having denied murder following the fatal attack on October 2 last year.

But he will be sentenced today (Thursday, May 20) after a jury  last week took just over three hours and forty minutes to find Constantinou not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter.

Matthew Constantinou

Matthew Constantinou - Credit: Facebook

The trial, which had been running since April 26, heard that in the weeks leading up to the fatal stabbing the defendant and Mr Marshall “had a bit of a falling out”.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said it had been due to the “failure of this defendant to pay a £10 debt” for cannabis.

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Mr Marshall texted Constantinou to say he would visit his mum to get the cash back and inform her of his drugs habit to which the defendant texted back “I will gut you".

Police on the scene of a suspected murder on Bacton Road in North Walsham last night. Photo: Submitt

Police on the scene following a fatal stabbing in North Walsham. - Credit: Archant

Mr Marshall and Mr Moore turned up at the defendant's address but were both chased away by Constantinou before the altercation between Constantinou and Mr Moore.

In his evidence to the jury Constantinou said it had been a tug-of-war-struggle" during which Mr Moore was fatally stabbed.

Constantinou said he feared that if he let go of the baseball bat "he would be in for an absolute beating" and also feared what might happen to his mother.

The defendant, who said he picked up a knife which had dropped to the floor in one hand, said he tried to push Mr Moore away before the victim went "quite limp".

Matthew Constantinou has appeared in court charged with murdering Thomas Moore in North Walsham. Pho

Police on the scene following fatal stabbing in North Walsham. - Credit: Archant

He said he had given Mr Moore a "final push" before the victim let go of the baseball bat.

Constantinou made a 999 call to police after returning home to say a man had suffered "quite severe" injuries following an incident.

Speaking after the verdict, Det Insp Lewis Craske, from Norfolk and Suffolk’s Major Investigation Team, said: "This was a violent attack in which a man has needlessly lost his life over a £10 cannabis debt.

"Regardless of the catalyst for the argument, this case demonstrates that violence is not the answer. There are no winners in this case with lives on both sides affected forever.”

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