Essex Chef Killer Jailed

A man who murdered a chef in Essex after a music concert in the summer has been jailed for at least 23 years.

Karl Wills killed 37-year-old Reynald Duchene with a single stab wound to the heart as he left the concert in Southend's Priory Park on Saturday, June 26, 2010 with family and friends.

The 22 year old from Cranley Road, Westcliff, had denied the charge but was found guilty earlier this month.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to serve a minimum of 23 years at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday, December 13.

Sentencing Wills, His Honour Judge Gratwicke said: "Mr Duchene had gone out that night to a classical concert with his fiancee, her children and their friends.

"It had been a pleasant evening and Mr Duchene was not looking for trouble. You viciously and callously plunged that knife into his heart. As a result an innocent and decent man had his life extinguished. A mother has lost her son, brothers have lost brother and a fiancee who had hoped for a long and happy future with Mr Duchene had her hopes dashed by your actions.

"You have two previous convictions for carrying a kitchen knife. You knew full well of the seriousness and dangers of carrying knives.

"The only sentence I can give is a sentence of life imprisonment and that is the sentence this court imposes on you." 

District Crown Prosecutor for the CPS, Michelle Brown said: "We are pleased with the sentence handed down today, and that Wills can no longer pose a danger to society.

“Wills went out that evening, to what should have been an enjoyable family event, but instead he armed himself with a knife with nothing more than the intention to do someone harm.

"He inflicted a single stab wound to the heart of his victim, which caused massive internal bleeding and ultimately resulted in the tragic death of Reynald Duchene. Because it was an internal injury he had no chance of getting any help.

“Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family at this difficult time.”