Carl Madigan jailed for life for murdering Sam Cook

Sam Cook Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Sam Cook was out in Liverpool celebrating his 21st birthday

A 23-year-old has been jailed for life for murdering a man by stabbing him to death as he celebrated his 21st birthday.

Carl Madigan plunged a knife through Sam Cook's heart while he was on licence for attacking another man with a machete, a court heard.

Madigan, of Adam Close, Garston, admitted manslaughter but denied murder at Liverpool Crown Court.

He was sentenced to a minimum of 28 years after a jury found him guilty.

Sentencing him, Judge Clement Goldstone QC said: "This was a truly wicked crime committed by a very dangerous young man."

The judge called for all licensed premises open late in Liverpool to have arches to detect knives or metal weapons.

The court was told Madigan also has a previous conviction for stabbing a man when he was 17.

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Carl Madigan has been jailed for life for the murder of Sam Cook

Madigan killed Mr Cook, from Crosby, following a row in a Liverpool city centre nightclub.

Mr Cook's family cheered and burst into tears as the verdict came back.

The victim's family - and members of the jury - wept as his mother told the court about her "beautiful boy" and said he was "the light of her life" and her only child.

The trial heard how Madigan was captured on CCTV re-enacting the killing for friends and even mimicked his victim falling to the floor.

The disturbance began when Mr Madigan's friend Lewis Langfield bumped into Mr Cook's girlfriend, Charlotte Owen, in the Empire Bar in Seel Street on 21 October 2017.

Mr Cook told Mr Langfield, who admitted affray, not be be so rude and a fight broke out, in which Miss Owen was hit in the face with a glass and Mr Cook was stabbed.

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption The knife used to murder Sam Cook

Nick Johnson QC, prosecuting, told the trial Madigan had taken a vegetable knife from an apartment he was staying at on the night and hid it in his sock.

Det Ch Insp Mark Tivendale said: "Madigan chose to carry a knife into Liverpool city centre and did so with the full intention of using it.

"Following a minor argument, and while Sam was being attacked by others, he struck a singular, cowardly, forcible and violent blow to Sam's chest. Sam didn't stand a chance."

In a statement, Mr Cook's family said he had been "brutally taken from us in the most horrendous circumstances" and described him as "kind, caring, well-mannered and funny".

They added: "He also had the most infectious smile which we will never see again, only in our hearts and in our memories, which we hold dear.

"We have been handed a life sentence, which we will live and breathe for the rest of our lives."

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