A man who stabbed an innocent bystander after mistaking him for someone else in a revenge attack has been jailed for life.
Remee Jarrett, 30, of Kelvedon Gardens, St. Ann’s, appeared at Nottingham Crown Court after fatally stabbing 21-year-old Reuben Morris-Laing at a convenience store on March 22 last year.
The incident happened after the court heard that Jarrett intended to stab another man outside R and S Convenience Store on Robin Hood Street named Rakeem Thomas, who he alleges was involved in a previous knife attack on him.
The court was shown CCTV footage where Jarrett can be seen running across the road towards the store at 9:23pm, before crouching down outside the store waiting for his target, who was wearing similar clothing to the victim.
After Jarrett realised the victim wasn’t the man he had targeted, he was heard by a witness saying to Reuben Morris-Laing “soz bro” as he fell to the ground and later died from his injuries in Queens Medical Centre.
Jarrett then ran into the store and gave chase to Thomas, who received a stab wound to the shoulder.
In a moving statement to the court, Reuben’s father Shane Morris, said: “As a father, you can only dream of working with your boy, we had deep talks, banter and we shared a trade. Now I cannot work as he was the only person I used to work with.”
“He was a hard-working, gentle and loving young man who was in a shop buying a drink and some chocolate, minding his own business, like he had so many times before.”
“I am now a father serving a life sentence of heartache.”
After evidence of searches were found on Jarrett’s phone relating to knife fighting, Peter Joyce QC, said that the attack was ‘pre-meditated’ to a degree but acknowledged that Jarrett did not mean to harm Reuben specifically.
Mitigating Miss Philippa Atasney told the court that Jarrett had suffered from several mental health issues, leading to him believing that ‘everyone was out to get him’.
Judge Justice Carr said in her closing statement: “Reuben Morris-Laing was described as a young man on the way to a bright future and was saving for a deposit on his first home.”
“The defendant took a knife to the scene with the intent to cause serious injury but not to kill the victim.”
Jarrett, who pleaded guilty to three charges, including murder, was also sentenced for possession of an offensive weapon and attempted grievous bodily harm, must serve at least 23 years in jail before being able to apply for release.