Killer Dale Murray stabbed man after jail release

Dale Murray Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Dale Murray had also attacked his cellmate

A schizophrenic man repeatedly stabbed a stranger in the neck days after his release from prison where he had stabbed his cellmate, a court heard.

Dale Murray, 32, was jailed for life at Liverpool Crown Court for the "merciless" murder of Thomas Grace at Prescot in October 2017.

Heroin addict Murray, of no fixed address, must serve at least 23 years.

John McDermott, QC, defending, said on release from jail Murray was "in one sense an accident waiting to happen".

The court heard Murray stabbed Mr Grace, 54, five times in the neck cutting his jugular veins after a "short-lived" altercation as Mr Grace walked home from the Dean's House pub around 21:15 BST on 10 October 2017.

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption The judge said Thomas Grace was 'killed in a completely senseless random chance encounter'

Murray launched the attack four days after being freed from a jail where he thrust a broken cup into a cellmate's neck after smoking Spice.

Judge Andrew Menary told Murray it was agreed he suffers from symptoms of schizophrenia with associated paranoia and his condition has markedly defined his life since he was 18.

He said the attack on the father-of-three was "merciless" adding "The tragic fact is that Tommy Grace was killed in a completely senseless random chance encounter with you - someone who habitually carried a knife."

The court was told Murray, who has 80 previous convictions for 184 offences, attacked his cellmate in HMP Liverpool on 7 August while serving a sentence for possessing a blade, shop lifting and breaching a suspended sentence.

Mr McDermott said there was no doubt his client's life has been blighted by his mental illness "and there was an inevitability about what would happen."

A victim impact statement from Mr Grace's sister Paula Murphy said: "Ever since the day of Tommy's death we have lost a little bit of our mother, it's almost as though she too died that day."

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