Bristol drug user murdered friend with stab to the heart during row


A drug user has been found guilty of murdering his friend at a house in Bristol late last year. 51-year-old Lee Llewellyn stabbed 32-year-old Martin Hefferman in the heart, inflicting fatal wounds at a house in Bradley Stoke.

Llewellyn stabbed Martin, who was from Fishponds, at a property in Honeysuckle Close, during the early hours of Saturday, November 18, 2023.

Despite denying one count of murder and claiming that Martin had accidentally impaled himself on the knife, Llewellyn was convicted by jurors after a nine-day trial at Bristol Crown Court. Llewellyn, currently living on Froomshaw Road in Bristol, awaits sentencing tomorrow (Friday, May 24).

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The court heard that Llewellyn and Mr Hefferman had been at the property with two women, one being the homeowner, for roughly 48 hours before violence erupted. During this time, alcohol and drugs were consumed.

Neither woman witnessed the fatal stabbing but reported hearing an argument between the two men downstairs, shortly before discovering Mr Hefferman critically injured and bleeding on the landing. Police were called by one of the women around 3.20am, with the first officers arriving about 10 minutes later.

Llewellyn confessed to the officers that he had "stabbed the guy" and claimed he had suffered rib injuries during an altercation with Mr Hefferman prior to grabbing the knife.

As Llewellyn was being escorted to the police vehicle, he said that he hoped Mr Hefferman survived since he didn't want "a murder charge". On his way to custody, he said: "I didn't mean to do it but he attacked me."

While in custody, he replied 'no comment' to all questions. In court Llewellyn claimed the death was as a result of an accident.

Mr Hefferman was declared dead at the scene by paramedics shortly after 4am. A forensic report concluded that Mr Hefferman died from a single stab wound to the upper chest, which damaged his heart.

The prosecution argued that the severity and location of the wound indicated that Llewellyn had intentions to either kill or inflict serious harm on Mr Hefferman.

Detective Inspector Mark Newbury, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “It’s clear there was a dispute between Lee Llewellyn and Martin Hefferman in the moments before the murder took place. Whatever caused that argument cannot justify the conscious decision Llewellyn made to grab a knife, which he used to kill Martin.

“It may have been a decision made in the heat of the moment, but it is inconceivable he would not have recognised bringing a knife into the argument could have tragic consequences. Sadly, that proved the case.

“He then made several telling admissions to police after being arrested. Martin was a young man whose life was snatched away from him on that fateful day six months ago. We are pleased to have secured a conviction for his family. They have shown courage throughout our investigation as they seek to come to terms with losing their son. Our thoughts remain with them.”

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