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18 February 2015, 16:46
A man has been found guilty of murdering another man at a flat in Braintree.
A jury at Chelmsford Crown Court took just over 16 hours to find Luke Eva, 25, of Avondale Road, Leigh, guilty of killing Michael Haastrup.
Michael, 24, who lived in Southend, died in hospital after he was stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife, following a disturbance at a flat in Cressing Road on April 16 last year. He died in Broomfield Hospital the next day.
DCI Mark Hall, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, led the investigation into Michael's death.
He explained that due to the ferocity of the attack the knife blade snapped and was left at the scene. During a detailed search of a house in Braintree that Eva visited after the murder officers found blood stained clothing and crucially a protective case for a kitchen knife. Forensic examination exactly matched the case to the knife broken blade found at the scene. This evidence proved Eva had taken a knife to the scene with him.
Speaking after the verdict, he said: "I welcome this guilty verdict to give some peace to Michael's family and friends. Michael was a young man who had just become a father. His life was cut short by the actions of Luke Eva on that night in Braintree. Both men were involved in a dispute over drugs which ended in a confrontation that had fatal consequences. This case illustrates the deadly impact that drugs and knife crime can have on families, societies and the local community."
Michael's death devastated his family. In a statement issued shortly after he died, his family, said: "Michael was a new father, a son, a brother and a good friend who had his whole life ahead of him. He had just got a new job and had a lovely new home with his partner and new son, Eli. He was loved by many and helped people when he could. He used to bring in young homeless children to spend Christmas with his family to make them feel a part of this world again and bring hope into their lives. May his humble soul rest in peace."
Eva will be sentenced on Friday, February 20.