AN “ENRAGED” teenager has been found guilty of murder following a row over drugs.

Kai Gasson, 17, claimed Arnold Potter, 24, had pulled a knife on him so he pulled a lock knife from his rucksack and stabbed Mr Potter in the chest in the darkness near their homes in Atkinson Road, Maidenbower, Crawley.

Mr Potter begged Gasson to stop and fled.

But as he did so, Gasson chased after him and stabbed him for a second time in the back.

Gasson had claimed he was acting in self defence as he believed Mr Potter held a knife to his throat while trying to steal his drugs.

But witnesses did not see a knife being used by Mr Potter, who died from his injuries in nearby Watson Close in November last year.

Gasson told police: “I saw red, I had no control. It was all like instinct.”

After a three-week trial at Hove Crown Court, a jury found him guilty of murder and of possessing a knife in public.

Gasson separately admitted possessing cocaine with intent to supply.

Judge Jeremy Gold QC jailed him for life, with a minimum term of 15 years.

The judge also lifted reporting restrictions, allowing The Argus to reveal Gasson’s identity.

He said: “There is widespread public concern about the routine carrying of knives. This is sadly yet another example of how it can lead to tragedy.”

The judge said it was not just a scourge of inner cities, as both Gasson and Mr Potter had been involved in drugs, and he said the crime had spread to a “perfectly ordinary street in Mid Sussex”.

Gasson was previously convicted for assault and for possessing a hunting knife in two separate convictions last year.

He wore a black T-shirt and Stone Island jeans in the dock as he was sentenced.

The judge told him: “Your previous convictions suggest a willingness to involve yourself in violence and a propensity to carry and threaten people with knives.

“You stabbed Arnold Potter, you were enraged by his behaviour and him trying to rob you.”

Mr Potter’s family spoke of their “heartbreak” in court.

Older brother Darius said he witnessed the paramedics battling to save Mr Potter in the street.

He said: “A woman was screaming my name saying my brother had been stabbed. I rushed to the scene and saw Arnold on the floor with blood everywhere. I knew that he was dead.

“I was screaming fight Arnold, fight Arnold, come back.”

He said the whole family was in shock and pain. His mother Rebecca said she is “living a nightmare”.

They said Mr Potter had his troubles with police but was “maturing” and spending time at the gym. He had a passion for picking herbs.

Darius thanked the community for their support during the difficult period.

After the case, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Richardson said: "Kai Gasson has been found guilty of the murder of Arnold Potter and rightly, so now faces a minimum of 15 years behind bars.

"Knife crime hasn’t just affected the two individuals involved; it has also affected their families, friends and the wider community and my thoughts are especially with Arnold’s family at this time.

"The key element to this tragic incident is the possession of a knife in a public place, which is an extremely serious offence.

"Had Gasson not been in possession of a knife that day, he would not have stabbed anyone and he would not now be facing a sentence.

"The devastation caused by knife crime is well documented, and Sussex Police – like every other force in the UK – will not tolerate it.

"We must continue to educate people – particularly young people – that carrying offensive weapons in public is a serious offence which ruins lives. It is a common misconception that some people feel safer in possession with a knife. This cannot be further from the truth; carrying a knife makes you far more likely to be involved in a crime, whether you are the victim or the offender.

"Our message is simple: lose the knife, not your life."