Sharon Hartfield, Matthew's mother (centre) with his Auntie Jen (left) and Detective Inspector Justine Wilson (right) outside Nottingham Crown Court.

A 21-year-old has been sentenced to life imprisonment at Nottingham Crown Court for murder.

Matthew Rothery, aged 18, was stabbed to death in the early hours of Friday, 14 April this year at his Woodborough Road home in Mapperley Park.

Nathan Towsey of Braunton Crescent, Gedling, killed Matthew with a hunting knife by stabbing him twice over a row about a bike.

He pleaded not guilty to murder and guilty to possession of an offensive weapon. He denied the murder all along, claiming that he’d been set up and that he was acting in self-defence.

“My love for you has never faltered, but now you’ve gone my life has altered… Sleep tight my angel and learn to fly”.
Sharon Hartfield, Matthew’s Mother

Whilst handing down the sentence, Judge Nigel Godsmark QC, said: “You are a dangerous individual.”

The judge told Towsey he would serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars and warned about the implications of carrying weapons.

“This case perfectly illustrates the danger of knives,” added Judge Godsmark as the victim’s family listened to his remarks from the public gallery.

Matthew’s mother, Sharon Hartfield, said in a victim impact statement read out in court by the prosecuting barrister, Michael Evans: “I have lost someone that can never be replaced.

“In the years to come I am not going to meet another son, another Matthew.”

Victim: Matthew Rothery, aged 18.

Towsey stabbed Matthew once in the arm and once in the leg, cutting through a vital artery, which despite paramedics efforts led to his death at Queen’s Medical Centre shortly afterwards.

His mother also read her personally written poem out in court.

Whilst wiping away tears, she read: “My love for you has never faltered, but now you’ve gone my life has altered.

“Sleep tight my angel and learn to fly.”

Nathan Towsey, 21, sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum 22 years behind bars.

Speaking on the court steps after sentencing, Detective Inspector Justine Wilson said: “This tragic case is one example of the devastating consequences of knife crime. A young man has needlessly lost his life.

“Nottinghamshire Police is committed to working with our partners and communities to reduce knife crime and the harm it can cause.

“We would encourage families to speak to their loved ones about the carrying of knives and remind people of the Crimestoppers service where they can anonymously report people who persistently carry them.”

Det Insp Wilson added: “I hope that this result goes out as a warning to all about the risks and devastating consequences carrying a knife can have.”

Call Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111.

Video: Detective Inspector Justine Wilson outside Nottingham Crown Court, reading out Matthew’s mother’s poem written in tribute to her son, with support from his Auntie.