Jack Hummerstone gets life for Thomas Brittain murder

Thomas Brittain
Image caption Thomas Brittain was staying with friends when he was attacked

A teenager found guilty of the murder of a songwriter and music producer has been sentenced to life in prison.

Thomas Brittain, 26, bled to death after being stabbed by 18-year-old Jack Hummerstone at a flat in Colchester.

Hummerstone, of no fixed address, attacked Mr Brittain after breaking into the flat early on 9 March to steal cash and drugs.

He was told at Chelmsford Crown Court that he would serve a minimum of 26 years before release.

'Unpleasant criminal'

Hummerstone was also sentenced to five years for grievous bodily harm with intent, six years for possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit a criminal offence and 10 years for aggravated burglary.

Image caption Andre Vella and Jack Hummerstone were both jailed

The sentences will run concurrently.

Andre Vella, 19, from Village Close, in Kirby Cross, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aggravated burglary and six years for possession of an imitation firearm with intent to commit a criminal offence, to run concurrently.

Mr Brittain was staying with friends at a flat in Parkside Quarter when the two men, masked and brandishing a knife and fake gun, broke into the property.

Hummerstone, described in court as a "very unpleasant criminal", became involved in a struggle with Mr Brittain, also known as Twister.

The flat's residents, Matthew Purves and Zoe Lewis, managed to break free from Hummerstone and Vella and took refuge in their three children's bedroom.

Mr Brittain died on the floor from a punctured lung and suffered several other knife wounds.

Det Insp Anne Cameron, of Essex Police said he had spent the last few months of his life "in fear of Jack Hummerstone, resulting in Tom losing his flat, his possessions and ultimately his life".

She added: "This was a planned callous violent attack on a defenceless family and particularly Tom."

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