Beds, Herts & Bucks

Andrew Mason murder: Man who sparked 'commotion' jailed

Darryl Daley Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Darryl Daley tried to rob Matthew Fathers as part of an ongoing, violent feud between the pair, the court heard

A man whose attempted robbery sparked a commotion which ended in the murder of a man "in the wrong place at the wrong time" has been jailed for six years.

Darryl Daley, 46, tried to steal drugs from cocaine dealer Matthew Fathers in a block of flats in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, on 16 June.

Andrew Mason came out of his flat after hearing the row and he was stabbed by Fathers, who is serving a life term.

Daley, of Moss Green in the town, has now also been sentenced.

Earlier this month, Fathers, of Little Hardings, Welwyn, was ordered to serve a minimum of 23 years of a life sentence after being convicted of murder.

Image copyright Hertfordshire Constabulary
Image caption The murder, carried out by Matthew Fathers, demonstrated the "sordid, vicious and dangerous world of drug dealing", a judge said

The trial at St Albans Crown Court heard Daley's attempted robbery of Fathers was the latest incident in a violent "feud" between the pair, and the latter had tried to stab Daley.

Mr Mason came out of his flat at Moyne House in Ley Walk after hearing the commotion.

He stood on the landing to stop another man who knew Fathers from coming out of a flat and getting involved.

Sentencing Fathers on 11 January, Judge Michael Kay QC said: "You turned towards Andrew Mason because you wanted to get through the door and into the flat and you stabbed him twice with considerable force."

There was "nothing to indicate" Mr Mason was armed or involved in the robbery, he added.

Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Andrew Mason died after being stabbed in a communal area of a block of flats

Det Insp Justine Jenkins was "pleased" with Daley's sentence after being convicted of attempted robbery but said "it does not take away the pain felt daily by Andrew Mason's family".

"This case sadly demonstrates how drugs can devastate lives and can cause those that choose to use them to make irrational decisions, which can have tragic and lifelong consequences," she added.

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