Yesterday (Thursday 14 March) Danny Trotter of no-fixed-abode was sentenced to life in prison, to serve a minimum of 22 years for the murder of 31-year-old Gavin Singleton.
On Sunday 23 September 2018 the Yorkshire Ambulance Service received a 999 call from a member of the public saying that two men had been stabbed on Walkley Lane, Sheffield. On arrival, paramedics found Mr Singleton to be in a critical condition. Members of the public were performing CPR on him. He had sustained three stab wounds, one to the chest and two to his right leg.
Paramedics arrived and treated Mr Singleton at the scene. He was then taken to the Northern General hospital where he underwent emergency surgery, at the time his injuries were described as life threatening.
Sadly, on 1 October 2018 the decision was made to withdraw life support, and five days later on 6 October 2018 Mr Singleton died.
Following the hearing yesterday Gavin Singleton’s family said “We would like to thank South Yorkshire Police, the detectives who were part of this case and our family liaison officer who have all worked tirelessly in their efforts to bring Gavin’s killer to justice. Our family have very much appreciated the support they have received throughout this difficult time.
“We are both happy and relieved with the guilty verdict, it won’t bring Gavin back but maybe he will be able to rest easier.
“Gavin was a kind, happy, and well liked young man with lots of close friends and family. Gavin had a heart of gold and would do anything to help a person in need, even following his death he helped a number of people by being an organ donor.
“This was a horrific and senseless knife attack. Gavin went out for a drink with friends and never made it home.
“Not only is this devastating for his family and close friends, but it will have a lasting impact on the people who knew him, those who witnessed what happened that night and the professionals who worked on this case.
“Knife crime is in the news on a constant basis at the moment, we’re all aware of it but when it happens to your family it just leaves emptiness inside the whole family. We won’t ever get Gavin back.
“As a family who has suffered a loss from knife crime, we would urge anyone even thinking of carrying a knife to think of the consequences, not only to the victim and yourself, but to everyone involved. The lasting effect it has on families is devastating. Please think. You can choose not to carry a knife.”
In sentencing Mr Justice Nicklin considered the impact on several members of the public who witnessed the aftermath of the stabbing, Trotter’s attempt to get rid of the knife in a river and the stabbing of Scott Fauvel, along with the fact that the incident was linked to (and caused by) dealing drugs.
He rejected that there was any element of self-defence in the stabbing of Gavin Singleton.
He recognised the public concern around knife crime saying: “The Court of Appeal has stated that murders like this outrage and horrify our communities.
“Anyone who goes into a public place armed with a knife or other weapon, and who uses it to kill, must anticipate punishment commensurate with that justified outrage and public concern.
“Reflecting that, Parliament has acted by introducing the 25 year starting point in cases like this.” He therefore did not add anything further to the sentence.
For the murder of Gavin Singleton, Danny Trotter was sentenced to life imprisonment. Trotter spent 170 days on remand awaiting trial and this was deducted from the 25 year sentence imposed, leaving 22 years to serve. Sentences were also given for three other offences committed at the same time, and will be served concurrently with the term being served for murder. They were:
Possession of an offensive weapon – sentence 12 months
Supplying cocaine to Gavin Singleton – 15 months
Section 20 wounding – 16 months
Detective Chief Inspector Jude Ashmore said; “the message to anyone who is even considering carrying a knife is simple – don’t do it. The impact knife crime has is devastating and long lasting, and if you commit crime while carrying a knife you will feel the full force of the law.
“Gavin Singleton’s family and friends have suffered a tragic loss that should never have happened and although yesterday’s sentencing won’t bring Gavin back I hope it gives them comfort as they try to make sense of what has happened”.
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