Luke Eva jailed for 23 years over drugs murder of Southend father

Michael Haastrup Image copyright Essex police hand out
Image caption Michael Haastrup died in a row over drugs, Chelmsford Crown Court heard

A man has been jailed for life for murdering a young father who was fatally stabbed in a row about drugs.

Michael Haastrup, 24, from Southend, was attacked at a flat in Braintree, Essex in April last year.

25-year-old Luka Eva, of Avondale Road, Leigh-on-Sea, will serve a minimum term of 23 years.

Chelmsford Crown Court judge Charles Gratwicke described the murder as a "savage and brutal attack" and said Eva was a "callous man".

Tension build-up

During the three-week trial, the court heard the two men had both been drug dealers in Braintree, and tension had built up between them.

A fight broke out between them at a mutual friend's flat in Cressing Road in the town on 16 April 2014.

Eva admitted taking a knife with him to the flat, and told the jury he accepted he had inflicted Mr Haastrup's fatal wound.

But he said he had no idea how seriously Mr Haastrup had been hurt, and was acting in self defence.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Luke Eva, 24, from Avondale Road in Leigh-on-Sea, will serve a minimum of 23 years

Prosecutor Karim Khalil QC said Mr Haastrup was stabbed with two different knives and was pronounced dead in hospital.

In a victim impact statement read out to the court, Mr Haastrup's family said due to the suddenness of his death, they were not able to say goodbye to him.

His partner told the court his young son, who was born a few months before Mr Haastrup died, would grow up never having known his father.

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