Man jailed after Tranmere murder

A merseyside man beens jailed for five years and five months after he stabbed his friend in the heart after a row over illegal sky cards worth just forty pounds.

Lee Willingham died behind the wheel of his car back in January.

36-year-old Mark Collins from Tranmere has been on trial this week accused of murdering his friend, Lee “Willow” Willingham, 30, during a petty argument. 

But on the fourth day of his Liverpool Crown Court trial today, Collins pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of provocation. 

Jailing him, Judge Gerald Clifton accepted he had been subjected to a “substantial degree of provocation.

“In this case there was an attack by two people, one with a dog, one with a baton.” In themselves, not necessarily life-threatening, although very unpleasant. 

“In my judgement, having heard the evidence, I believe that there was a substantial degree of provocation occurring over a short period.” 

But he added: “You took the knife you had, you opened it and stabbed the deceased once in the heart, killing him. Killing a man who to some people was a dear man and loved.”