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Man jailed for 26 years for murdering 17-year-old college student
A man has today being jailed for a minimum of 26 years for murdering a teenager.
Adam Skilton, 42, of Wilton Road, Bexhill, stabbed Jake Woudstra, 17, twice in The Shah pub in Mount Pleasant Road, Hastings, on April 5, this year.
Jake, who attended William Parker College, Hastings, was described by his father Steve Woudstra as wonderful.
The older Mr Woudstra, who was at Hove Crown Court this morning, said his son’s death continued to “haunt” him.
In a victim impact statement he said he returned home and always “hoped to see the computer modem lights flashing” – a sign his son was there, on his computer.
“My home was his home,” he recalled.
Judge Michael Lawson, sentencing Skilton, said he did not believe he felt remorse.
He said: “Since then [when Jake died] you have pretended you have been devastated… devastated that you got caught.
“You have called most of the witnesses’ liars but there is only one person who is a liar and that is you.
“The facts speak for themselves.”
Explaining to the jury the reason behind Skilton’s long sentence, he said: “It will keep Mr Skilton out of circulation for some time.”
Previously the court was told how Jake’s brother Levi Woudstra had been set on by Skilton as he entered the pub.
Levi and Jake returned to the pub, Jake armed with a golf club, described by Judge Lawson as a “flimsy child’s toy”.
Skilton stabbed Jake in the heart once and chased him and Levi into the pub’s beer garden. Levi escaped over a wall but Jake was stabbed a second time.
Detective Sergeant Sean Scott said: "Today's verdict is the culmination of many months' police work in order that the man responsible for killing Jacob was brought to court.
"Although nothing will bring him back, we're pleased that the family have today got justice for the terrible crime that took him away from them so senselessly.
"This was a violent attack on a young man who had his life ahead of him.
"Jacob was in the wrong place at the wrong time and inadvertently became involved in a dispute that was nothing to do with him – tragically, it resulted in his untimely death."
Hastings District Commander Chief Inspector Heather Keating added: "The local community - and in particular those who knew Jacob - were shocked by this tragedy.
"We know that this crime caused some fear and anxiety amongst the community but I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the public that this type of crime is extremely uncommon and we do not want people to be unduly alarmed - this was not a stranger attack and Hastings remains the safe place to live, work and study.
"I would also like to thank local people for all their co-operation and patience during this police investigation, which has culminated in justice being done. The community really pulled together."
Skilton was convicted of one count of murder and one of perverting the course of justice.