Killer, 40, who stabbed 29-year-old nightclubber in the neck is jailed

Killer, 40, who stabbed 29-year-old nightclubber in the neck on the dancefloor after flying into a jealous rage because he was ‘standing in his spot’ talking to two women is jailed

  • Edward Wilson was sentenced to a minimum 22 years in jail after stabbing Akeem Francis-Kerr

A nightclubber who stabbed to death a man who was ‘standing in his spot’ on the dancefloor has been sentenced to a minimum term of 22 years.

Edward Wilson, 40, was jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court after hearing victim impact statements saying the killing of Akeem Francis-Kerr had shattered his family’s lives ‘in every conceivable way’.

Wilson was found guilty of murder in September after jurors were told how he stabbed his victim once in the neck at Valesha’s nightclub in Walsall shortly after 5am on March 11.

Mr Francis-Kerr, 29, died within an hour of being attacked, after the knife pierced both his carotid and jugular veins.

Passing sentence on Wilson on Friday, Judge Kristina Montgomery KC, the Recorder of Stafford, said the offence was aggravated by Wilson’s previous convictions for 22 offences, including drug-trafficking, robbery and violence.

Edward Wilson (pictured) was jailed for life after he stabbed a man to death on a dancefloor in a nighclub

Akeem Francis-Kerr, 29, died from the attack within an hour after the knife pierced his neck

She told Wilson, who had been smoking cannabis and drinking double shots of rum: ‘The CCTV from the nightclub gives the impression of you being territorial and being irritated by Mr Francis-Kerr’s intrusion on what you considered to be your preferred spot.

‘Whatever was said between you about that or any other disagreement that you had with him, resulted in a show of aggression from you.

‘That was met inevitably with a response from Mr Francis-Kerr and an argument descended into a scuffle.’

During the scuffle lasting only a few seconds, Wilson, from Temple Way, Oldbury, West Midlands, produced a knife from a pocket or some other part of his clothing and stabbed Mr Francis-Kerr.

Judge Montgomery added that bystanders including members of the victim’s family, had to endure seeing him being treated, including attempts to administer CPR.

She said of the victim: ‘He was only 29 years of age when you killed him.

‘He was a valued member of both his immediate and extended family because of his kind, considerate and selfless character.’

As Wilson, who appeared relaxed in the dock, was led away to begin his sentence there was applause from the public gallery and shouts of ‘justice’. 

Prosecutor Maria Karaiskos KC told the jury that Wilson stabbed Mr Francis-Kerr ‘out of anger, arrogance or jealousy’ after returning from the toilet to find him talking to two females in a recessed area of the club where Wilson had been standing since he arrived at about 4am.

During his own evidence to the jury, Wilson admitted they had had an ‘altercation’ and exchanged blows, but denied stabbing Mr Francis-Kerr, claiming he had simply asked him to move so he could retrieve his drink.

The trial was also told that Wilson was arrested at a flat in Sheffield on March 14, and in various police interviews denied being involved in the stabbing.

The incident happened during an altercation at Valesha’s nightclub in Walsall shortly after 5am on March 11

Before sentencing, defence KC Nigel Edwards said the incident was inexplicable and had ‘just flared out of nowhere’.

‘He is a man who was frequently in trouble but not this kind of trouble,’ Mr Edwards said.

In a statement released previously through West Midlands Police, Mr Francis-Kerr’s family and friends said: ‘We will all remember Akeem for his bright smile and we know the universe will shine a lot brighter with him on the other side.

‘Akeem had his whole life ahead of him. We are heartbroken that he will never reap the rewards of his hard work.

‘Akeem was devoted to his family, particularly his brothers and nieces. He loved his family dearly.’

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