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Killer's 10 year sentence 'hard to take'
A drug dealer who killed a man before celebrating and re-enacting the stabbing minutes later has been jailed for 10 years.
Adam White, 23, plunged a kitchen knife so hard into builder Jeff Burrows’ stomach that the blade damaged his backbone.
However, a jury in November found him not guilty of intending to kill and instead returned a verdict of manslaughter.
Mr Burrows’ grieving father, David, described the jail term as “hard to take, ” but added that his family “had to accept it”.
He said: “That’s the law of the land so we have to move on. What else can we do? It was devastating having to hear evidence of how our son and brother was killed and all the awful injuries. We just had to stay calm and be respectful.”
The three week trial at Lewes Crown Court heard that Mr Burrows had increasingly turned to drugs following the death of his wife – and White had been his dealer.
A disagreement between the two men about a stolen motorbike came to a head on April 29 when White went round to his Norfolk Square flat with a kitchen knife.
A struggle ensued and White stabbed Mr Burrows in the stomach.
The court heard the attack was so brutal that a cleaner downstairs mistook it for an earthquake.
White was caught on CCTV just minutes later in the nearby Caps Bar on Western Road re-enacting the stabbing and hugging and kissing a friend.
Representing White Mr Jefferies said his client had not intended to kill Mr Burrows and had shown genuine remorse.
Addressing the judge he pleaded for a lenient sentence. He said that at just 23 White needed “hope for the future”, adding that a long sentence would mean his young daughter would grow up without a dad.
He concluded by saying that White’s mother was ill and the matter was “not assisting her”.
Judge Richard Brown, said: “I accept that the jury, by its verdict, found that you didn’t intend to kill.
But the fact remains that you armed yourself with a knife before going to the flat and therefore were willing to use it – and indeed did.
“As a result of your actions a man has died and his family and friends have been left devastated.”
White, of Bedford Place, Liverpool, showed little emotion as he was sent to jail.
David Burrows told The Argus his family, who live in Northern Ireland, are struggling to come to terms with the death.
He said: “Christmas was tough. It was very quiet and we just let things take their course.
“Given the verdict of manslaughter I’m pleased that he got 10 years instead of four of five.
“It is reassuring that he will be locked up for a decade but it doesn’t help ease the suffering. Jeff was a good man and we will all miss him.”