Man who killed David Hastings in Norwich had conviction for knife offences
- Credit: Archant
Killer Rolands Heinbergs was serving a suspended sentence for possession of offensive weapons at the time of the fatal attack, it can be revealed.
He was in court after being charged with two counts of possessing knives just three weeks before the fatal attack on David Hastings.
Heinbergs, previously of Anne Bartholomew Road, Thetford, received a four month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, following the offences on May 7 last year.
Members of Mr Hastings' tight-knit group of friends who he knew from his time sleeping rough in the city have told of their anger that Heinbergs was at large and able to kill.
Kelly Almond, 35, said she was "disgusted."
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She said: "If he would've gone to prison a good friend of ours would still be here today.
"I'm angry and I'm upset. It's come as a real shock. It's just so unfair."
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"I hope the judge that sentenced him (Heinbergs) feels really bad about what they've done.
"No-one could've predicted the outcome of what would happen but still if more had been done about it then David would still be here.
"His grandchildren will never get to meet him and that's horrible."
Stephen Phillips, 63, part of Mr Hastings' group of friends who lived on the streets, said: "I'm angry and annoyed. If he would've been in prison David would still be here now."
A spokesman for Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) would not comment.
A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: "We were called on May 7 to reports of a male acting suspiciously in the Admirals Way area of Thetford.
"Members of the public called us about a male.
"We sent police out and the male was stop searched."
He was found to have two knives on him and he was arrested and subsequently charged with possession of the weapons."
Reema Sohal, who runs the One Stop shop close to where Heinbergs was arrested, said it was "shocking" that he had gone onto be arrested and charged with murder.
Meanwhile, it has also emerged that Heinbergs faces further court hearings.
He was previously charged with failing to comply with the community requirements of a suspended sentence order in that he failed to report, as instructed without reasonable excuse, on June 12 last year.
He is also due to appear for a second charge of failing to comply with community requirements of a suspended sentence order in that he failed to provide acceptable documentary evidence about reasons for his absence.
The cases have been adjourned until the outcome of the murder case before Norwich Crown Court.