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HomeLatest NewsMan who stabbed his sleeping boyfriend to death jailed for life

Man who stabbed his sleeping boyfriend to death jailed for life

Jason Brockbanks (left) was stabbed by Aaron Ray (right) over Grindr news (Image: North News/NNP)

A killer who stabbed his lover after a sex chat argument and left him to die alone has been sentenced to life in prison.

“Obsessed and jealous” Aaron Ray, 21, stabbed Jason Brockbanks, 24, in September as he slept after seeing Grindr messages on his phone.

The killer, who had previously slit the cockatiel’s throat for his family, left Mr Brockbanks to bleed to death in his bathroom at Mansion Tyne in Newcastle.

It was three days before the body of the Northumbria University student was discovered.

Newcastle Crown Court heard he could have survived had medical help been sought.

Ray, from Sunderland, denied murder but was convicted by a jury after a trial.

Mr Justice Spencer sentenced Ray to life behind bars and said he must serve a minimum of 22 years.

The judge said the evidence showed Ray had been “violent” in previous relationships and said he was “cheating, dishonest and when drunk very dangerous”.

Mr Brockbanks was a third year student at Northumbria University (Image: North News & Pictures Ltd)

The two men had been enjoying a night out together at Newcastle’s Pink Triangle before Ray saw the Grindr news on Mr Brockbank’s phone.

The judge said it was likely Mr Brockbanks fell asleep, after which Ray recorded video of himself scribbling through the phone, retrieving a knife from the communal kitchen and launching the fatal attack.

Mr Brockbanks was cut across the back before being stabbed in the side while lying in bed under his covers.

Judge Spencer told Ray: “I think when he was attacked Jason was asleep under his covers, defenseless and unable to defend himself against your attack.

“You have shown no remorse for your actions. You didn’t call 911 to help Jason.

Ray denied murder but was found guilty by a jury (Image: North News & Pictures Ltd)

“He was bleeding profusely from the wounds, blood dripping through his comforter and sheet. He fell to the ground next to his bed, the covers falling to the floor, covering his phone. That’s why I don’t think he called for help himself.

“He tried to get up, found his way to the bathroom, collapsed in the shower stall and bled to death.”

After the stabbing, Ray took the knife he used in the killing back to the communal kitchen and then left the shelter.

Three days later, on September 27, the manager of the university’s hall of residence received an email asking if she could check on Mr Brockbanks’ well-being because his parents were concerned.

She entered his room and found him “obviously dead.”

Police in the halls of Mansion Tyne where Mr Brockbanks was stabbed (Image: North News & Pictures Ltd)

Mr Brockbanks’ father, Chris, said his son “hated violence” and had a “great passion for life”.

He said: “Knowing that Jason died slowly and alone will haunt us for the rest of our lives.

“It is truly heartbreaking for us to hear that his death may have been preventable if help was sought.

“We believe Jason spent his final moments looking for his mobile phone to call for help but he was unable to locate the phone as the defendant was the last person to use it.

“I will never understand how a human being could walk away from Jason who is so cruelly and callously injured in his room.”

Prosecutor David Lamb KC had told the court that the Grindr messages on Mr Brockbank’s phone were the “trigger and motivating factor” for the murder.

A post-mortem found Mr Brockbanks had a stab wound to his right abdomen, which was fatal, and two knife wounds to his back.

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