Killer’s chilling two second glance that led to the murder of dad in front of young son

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Alexander Layton, 34, stabbed loving dad James Stokoe six times with a kitchen knife as the victim’s four-year-old son sat in a booster seat in the back of the car

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CCTV: Alexander Layton strolls in front of James Stokoe’s BMW

A killer’s chilling two second glance led to the murder of a dad in front of his son.

Alexander Layton, 34, stabbed James Stokoe six times with a kitchen knife as the victim’s son sat in a booster seat in the back of the car.

Today Layon was jailed for 23 years for the horror attack.

Just moments before the killing Mr Stokoe had almost crashed into Layton after he got off a bus in Thornaby, near Middlesbrough.

Loving dad James was driving his four-year-old son to see his nana, when Clayton steps in front of the 40-year-old’s BMW and narrowly avoids being hit.

What should have been a near-miss instead turns into a bloody and frenzied attack which would claim the much-loved Thornaby dad’s life.

Alexander Layton, 34, was jailed for life with a minimum 23-year term
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Image:

The Gazette)

The culprit, Alexander Layton, will now spend decades behind bars after he was jailed for life on Tuesday.

CCTV footage, released by Cleveland Police, shows the 34-year-old killer walk off a bus clutching a shopping bag.

As the bus drives off, maskless Layton can be seen casually strolling across the road as the Thornaby dad’s vehicle approaches.

The moment Alexander Layton strolls in front of James Stokoe’s BMW – seconds before a horror attack unfolded

He manages to just get out of the way. Then, as the footage ends, he sends what now feels like a chilling glance towards the car.

Teesside Crown Court would hear how the pair exchanged heated remarks over the incident, only for Layton to pull a 12 inch knife from his bag and repeatedly stab Mr Stokoe to death.

James Stokoe died at the scene after he was stabbed to death in a silver BMW last year
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Image:

Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)

James Stokoe was stabbed in the car as his four-year-old son sat in his booster seat
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Image:

Evening Gazette)

During the trial, Layton sobbed as he tried to pass the violent stabbing off as an act of self-defence.

However jurors were able to see through what prosecutors claimed were a “pack of lies” as they unanimously found him guilty in just over two hours.

And his actions following the murder did little to sway jurors that the attack was the actions of an innocent man, with heartless Stokoe leaving the scene to buy booze and a scratchcard – before going camping.

Alexander Layton, 34, was jailed for life with a minimum 23-year term
(

Image:

PA)

He’s now starting what will be a minimum of 23 years behind bars.

For his victim’s family though, they admit no sentence will ever make up for the damage caused by the cruel actions of the heartless killer.

The sentencing heard how Doreen Stokoe, the victim’s mum, admit “our family will never be the same”.

“We have so much sadness in our lives now and there is no forgiveness in my heart,” she added.

And his widow, Alex, added: ” I cannot possibly describe the impact that this has had on my family.

“I am living a life sentence.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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