'You have shown not a shred of remorse' - judge slams killer with life sentence
PUBLISHED: 13:19 01 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:43 01 February 2019
A remorseless killer who murdered his love rival by stabbing him nine times will serve more than 21 years behind bars.
Steven Butcher, 24, of Ashfield Crescent, Lowestoft, was convicted on Wednesday, January 30, of killing 28-year-old father Scott Tarrant on July 7 last year.
He appeared before Ipswich Crown Court on Friday, February 1, via a video link from Norwich Prison, where he received a 22-year sentence.
As he has already been in custody for 206 days, Butcher must serve 21 years and 159 days before parole is possible.
Butcher was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a grey t-shirt and with his hands clasped tightly in front of his face throughout proceedings, he appeared nervous and fidgeted often.
Judge David Goodin slammed the immaturity the 24-year-old displayed throughout the trial and said: “You have shown not a shred of remorse”.
As he was led back to his cell Butcher took a deep breath and appeared to wipe tears away from his eyes.
The courtroom remained silent.
In a trial which lasted more than two weeks, the jury heard how the pair had been embroiled in a long-standing feud after Butcher slept with Mr Tarrant’s partner, and mother of his child, Rebecca Supple.
Mr Tarrant had been due to meet Miss Supple earlier in the evening of July 7 but after watching the England vs Sweden World Cup match in a pub he failed to show up.
She texted him “I hate you” at 8.41pm, before inviting Butcher to spend the night 48 seconds later.
The judge mused if Butcher had simply abided by the driving ban he had been given in January 2018 that “Scott Tarrant might still be alive”.
Judge Goodin said: “There had been bad blood between you for some time and there was a threat of violence in which I judge you to be no more to blame than he.”
Mr Tarrant arrived at Miss Supple’s home shortly after Butcher.
After spotting his rival’s motorbike outside he banged on the front door and pushed the bike over.
The situation quickly escalated.
Butcher, determined to find Mr Tarrant and confront him, put on his motorcycle helmet and took a knife from the home.
He found his bike had been moved down the street and as he walked to retrieve it, Mr Tarrant appeared.
In the ensuing brawl, Butcher stabbed Mr Tarrant nine times with the kitchen knife he had taken from Miss Supple’s home.
Mr Tarrant suffered catastrophic injuries and died in hospital while Butcher fled the scene – only to be found hiding in his mother’s loft at 4am the next morning.
Judge Goodin added: “You were helmeted and armed; he was not.
“There is no doubt in my judgement in those moments you intended to kill him.
“And you left him, gasping for breath; choking on his own blood.”
During the sentencing the prosecution revealed Mr Tarrant was a father to three children – not two as previously reported.
It was heard how his family’s world had been “ripped apart” by his death.
The third child was not with Miss Supple and was born two weeks before he was murdered.
Mr Tarrant had not yet met the child.
Ultimately it took jurors just over three hours to conclude a guilty verdict.
And while family and friends of Mr Tarrant were praised by the judge for their enduring dignity over the course of the trial, the life sentence did nothing to ease their pain and suffering.
Mr Tarrant’s uncle Glen Anderson said: “It’s not long enough. We are the only ones with a life sentence.
“His family have lost him for the rest of their lives. He was very well-loved; he had a lot of friends as you could see today.”
He added: “Scott was still young; he would have outlived us all.”