David Young killer Thomas Hodge given seven years

Police photo of Thomas Hodge
Image caption Thomas Hodge had denied murder but was found guilty of manslaughter

A teenager has been given seven years in a young offenders' institution for killing a man in a Gillingham street.

The judge at Maidstone Crown Court lifted reporting restrictions enabling Thomas Hodge, 17, to be identified.

Hodge, from Gillingham, had denied murdering David Young, 28, in the town's Windmill Road on 1 January.

He was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter. Stuart Porter, 18, of Buttermere Close, Gillingham, was cleared of both charges.

Father-of-two Mr Young, of Beatty Avenue, was found stabbed in the thigh in the early hours of New Year's Day.

He died in hospital on 5 January.

'Deadly combination'

Judge Jeremy Carey told Hodge, who lived in the same road, he would serve up to half his sentence in custody, the final six months in an adult prison.

He said: "This case is a depressingly familiar one - a story of excessive drinking, group violence and carrying of a blade - a deadly combination leading to the needless loss of life, and a precious life."

Image caption David Young was stabbed in the thigh on New Year's Day in Gillingham

Mr Young had been celebrating New Year's Eve with friends in Rochester, police said.

But they encountered another group when they returned to Gillingham, and Mr Young was injured in the fighting that followed.

Det Ch Insp Jon Clayden, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "What should have been a time of celebration has ended up being, for one family, a New Year to forget."

Mr Young's fiancee Kirsty Bryant said after the sentencing: "I've been numb all the way through it. All I can think about is not what I've lost… I just think about what Dave's lost.

"He's lost his whole life and he didn't deserve to."

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