A MAN who murdered a Wirral charity worker by stabbing him in the heart has been jailed for life.
Barry Royle, 28, had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs when he knifed friend Peter Caine, 27, to death.
Royle stabbed Caine eight times but the fatal blow sliced through his ribs and penetrated his heart.
Mr Caine, a part-time volunteer at Wirral CVS, suffered massive blood loss and could not be saved.
On Monday, Liverpool Crown Court heard Royle, who is from Cumbria, was only living with Mr Caine because the drug mentor had agreed to given him a place to stay while he was facing a rape charge.
It was only Mr Caine’s offer that enabled Royle to be granted bail. Royle was later found not guilty of the sex charges.
Jailing Royle for life, the Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Clement Goldstone QC, said: “He was your best friend. He was a man whose accommodation you were sharing and had it not been for his generosity of spirit you had nowhere to live.
“He was a good man.” Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting, told how the pair, both from Barrow-in-Furness, had been drinking and taking amphetamine on May 11.
At about 11.30pm, Royle was sick outside Sunny’s bar on Argyle Street and was refused re-entry. Doorman then told Mr Caine he also had to leave.
A neighbour then heard the pair arguing as they walked back to Mr Caine’s flat on Market Street before going inside.
But soon afterwards, at about 12.30am, she heard Mr Caine shouting that Royle had stabbed him.
Royle was armed with a knife and shouted back: “I stabbed him because he's a f****** p****.” He then walked away while the neighbour alerted the emergency services.
Mr Caine was taken to Arrowe Park Hospital, where attempts to save him failed, and he was pronounced dead at 1.33am.
Royle called the police within minutes, telling them “I've just stabbed my mate.” He was arrested just streets away, still carrying the knife and with blood on his hands.
In interview he made a full confession telling officers Mr Caine had pushed him and he had responded by getting the carving knife. He said he only remembered stabbing at Mr Caine once.
But Judge Goldstone said: “I have no doubt that when you stabbed Peter Caine you did intend to kill him.” The judge ordered Royle to serve a minimum of 15 years behind bars.
Raquel Simpson, defending, told of Royle's “extreme remorse”. at his actions.
She told how Royle considers himself a family man and is close to his 11-year-old daughter, but accepted he had difficulties controlling his temper, particularly after drinking.
She emphasised that reports showed the force used to inflict the fatal blow was only described as “mild”.
Mr Caine was a young people’s representative for Forum Housing Association as well as a volunteer for Wirral CVS and other voluntary groups.
He drew on his own experiences as a recovered heroin user to help others overcome their addictions and lead positive lives.
He had also started Art Changes Emotions, a programme campaigning against knife and gun-crime.