Man jailed after Ripley murder

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A MAN has been jailed after being found guilty of a murder in Ripley where he stabbed his victim to death following an argument.

A trial at Nottingham Crown Court this week heard that Lee Barnes invited Christopher Clowes and his girlfriend around to his house for drinks after they got talking in a pub beer garden in Butterley Hill on April 17th this year.

While Mr Clowes’ girlfriend spoke with Barnes’ partner the two men were listening to music in another room but then an argument broke out between them which ended up in blows being traded.

The jury heard that Mr Clowes, 40, of Manor Croft, Ripley, left the house but Barnes followed him outside with a kitchen knife and stabbed him once to the chest before walking away.

But he returned, following Mr Clowes and stabbed him a second time to the left side of the chest with such force the blade broke.

Barnes (38) of Butterley Hill was arrested and charged with murder, which he denied.

After a four-day trial the jury took just a matter of hours to return a guilty verdict and Barnes was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Detective Inspector Dave Cox, who investigated the murder, said: “Barnes has never showed any remorse for what he did and it was a brutal act.

“The evidence in the case was overwhelming, particularly in terms of those people who witnessed the incident.

“I’d like to thank those people who came forward and gave statements. It was a distressing case and the investigation team is very grateful for the assistance the public gave.

“Clearly there was an argument and a fight between Barnes and Christopher Clowes but what followed after that is tragic and a man has been stabbed to death.

“Christopher Clowes’ family and his girlfriend will never get over what has happened and Lee Barnes now faces a very long time in prison.”