A murderer was told he must spend at least 20 years in prison for stabbing a Leeds teenager to death over a “petty” drug debt.
The judge who imposed a life sentence on Ghanu Stout told him that he had a duty to protect the public from knife crime.
The YEP reported how Stout, 27, was found guilty of murdering 17-year-old Kieran Butterworth in a street attack in Harehills, Leeds, on February 12 this year.
Mr Justice Andrew Smith told Stout he must spend two decades in prison before he can apply to the parole board for release.
He said: “You murdered Kieran Butterworth. He was only 17 and he had his life to live.
“The killing of anyone, particularly one so young, is a tragic waste.
“No sentence can be any real comfort to his parents and his family and his friends.
“You are responsible for their loss.”
He added: “I can’t ignore the background to this. The background was drug dealing. Perhaps not on a large scale, but commercial drug dealing and a petty debt that Kieran owed you as a result.”
The jury heard Stout confronted Kieran in a café in Bellbrooke Street, Harehills.
The pair struggled and Kieran ran away but Stout gave chase and attacked him on a grass verge.
The teenager suffered a knife wound to his chest and died in hospital later that day.
Stout handed himself in to police the next day but denied attacking Kieran. He claimed he had been threatened when he went to meet Kieran. Det Chief Insp Jon Morgan, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “Kieran Butterworth was a young man who had his whole life ahead of him when he was brutally killed by Stout. Stout had armed himself with a knife prior to confronting him and used a completely unnecessary level of violence. He is clearly a dangerous individual who belongs in prison.
“We hope the fact he has been sent to jail will provide some degree of comfort to Kieran’s family.”
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