Lowestoft man found guilty of murdering love rival
PUBLISHED: 14:15 30 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:05 30 January 2019
A man has been found guilty of murdering his love rival after stabbing him nine times.
Steven Butcher, 24, of Ashfield Crescent, Lowestoft, wept from the dock as he was convicted by jurors today (January 30) of killing 28-year-old Scott Tarrant on July 7 last year.
The pair had a long-running dispute after Butcher slept with Mr Tarrant’s partner, and the mother of his child, Rebecca Supple.
Jurors returned the verdict after deliberating for more than three hours following the trial at Ipswich Crown Court which began on January 14.
Mr Tarrant had been due to meet Miss Supple earlier in the night on July 7, with the pair rebuilding their “on-off” relationship, she said.
After watching the England vs Sweden game in the World Cup in a pub with friends, Mr Tarrant failed to attend.
At 8.41pm, she texted him saying “I hate you,” before inviting Butcher to visit 48 seconds later.
Mr Tarrant arrived shortly after Butcher at 11pm, banging on the door and pushing Butcher’s motorbike over.
Miss Supple refused to open the door and Butcher went outside to stand his motorbike up, picking up a kitchen knife before Miss Supple took it off him.
After returning to the house, with Mr Tarrant hiding in a bush outside, Butcher collected his keys, helmet and, the prosecution claimed, the knife, before leaving again.
Outside, Butcher stabbed Mr Tarrant nine times, including a 20cm deep cut below his collarbone which damaged his aorta and caused significant internal blood loss, as well as two cuts on his chest, three on his abdomen and three on his arm.
Mr Tarrant, who also suffered a collapsed lung and damage to his liver and kidney, was rushed to hospital but died of multiple stab wounds.
Butcher fled the scene and was arrested by armed police hiding in his mother’s loft at their Ashfield Crescent home shortly after 4am on July 8.
Butcher denied intending to murder Mr Tarrant, initially telling police he wasn’t at the scene, outside Miss Supple’s Underwood Close home in Lowestoft.
Giving evidence last week, Butcher admitted to jurors he did visit Miss Supple that night, but instead claimed Mr Tarrant attacked him with a knife.
Arguing he acted in self-defence, Butcher said: “He lunged at me and I grabbed hold of his wrists and held on firmly because my life depended on it.
“I moved the knife down towards his chest and pushed down. The knife went in but there was no change in him. I don’t think he realised.
“If I didn’t react how I did, he would be here today and I would be the one who was gone.”
Senior investigating officer, detective chief inspector Mike Brown, said: “This was a horrific and brutal killing inflicted by someone who was known to the victim.
“After being arrested, Butcher refused to acknowledge responsibility for his actions – denying visiting the home on Underwood Close, denying taking a knife from the property and denying stabbing or fighting with Scott Tarrant.
“For such a dispute to get so wildly out of hand and end so tragically for Scott and his family and friends must be incredible hard to bear.
“Such a mindless and violent attack has had huge consequences for everyone concerned.
“It is satisfying to secure justice for Scott’s family, but clearly nothing will bring Scott back for his loved ones who must still miss him desperately.”
Butcher will return to the court on Friday, February 1, to be sentenced.