Man given life sentence for murdering father-of-two

BEHIND BARS: Barry Estabrook.
BEHIND BARS: Barry Estabrook.

A man from Bildeston who killed a neighbour in a brutal knife attack has been jailed for life.

Barry Estabrook, 44, of Brooksfield, was told by Judge David Goodin on Friday that he will spend at least 20 years in prison before being eligible to apply for parole.

Estabrook had inflicted 21 stab wounds, including two to the heart, on father-of-two Brian Knock, who died almost instantly, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

After the attack, Estabrook had posted a message on Facebook saying: “I don’t know what to do. I’ve really hurt someone. I just want to die.”

Estabrook fled from the scene in his car and, after crashing in a ditch in Wattisham Road, Bildeston, was arrested by police. Officers used a taser gun to stun Estabrook because they feared he was armed with a knife.

A subsequent search of his home revealed a knife and blood-stained clothing in a washing machine.

Forensic tests linked the knife with the stabbing of Mr Knock and found traces of his blood on the clothes.

Estabrook had pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr Knock at a hearing in December.

Prosecutor Christopher Morgan said in the hours before the stabbing, both men had been at the Red Lion pub in Bildeston, where, after initially acknowledging each other, they had been drinking separately.

Estabrook accepted a lift home from a member of staff and Mr Knock, 38, walked back to his mother’s home in Brooksfield where he had been staying with his two daughters.

Mr Morgan said that no-one in the neighbourhood heard any disturbance or raised voices until Estabrook’s sister, whom he had telephoned, arrived to find Mr Knock propped against a wall in his mother’s front garden.

Efforts to revive Mr Knock were unsuccessful and his mother came to the front door and saw the body of her son.

Following his arrest, Estabrook claimed to have had a verbal exchange with Mr Knock and then become involved in a scuffle, later arriving home to find himself covered in blood.

Estabrook told officers: “He won’t pick on me any more.”

Mr Morgan said there was no evidence to support suggestions that there had been some sort of confrontation between Estabrook and Mr Knock at the Red Lion.

Staff spoke of Estabrook appearing to be depressed and, on leaving the pub, had said to the landlord that he was going to Mr Knock’s address to “fill him in.”

The court heard that Mr Knock’s mother had been among those who had campaigned for the flats where Estabrook lived to be built to help people with problems and who needed a second chance.

Appearing for Estabrook, Stephen Dyble said it had been a tragic case that had shocked and devastated two families.

Members of Mr Knock’s family and of Estabrook were in court to hear the sentencing.