Road rage killer knifed dad to death in front of his son, 4, in row over crossing the road

A MONSTER stabbed a dad to death in front of his four-year-old son in a brutal road rage attack.

Alexander Layton, 34, plunged the carving knife into James Stokoe, 40, as he sat in his BMW following a row over crossing the road.

James' young son was strapped in his car seat at the time as his dad bled to death within just minutes.

The killer had calmly picked up his shopping bags and walked away from the horror in Stockton-on-Tees last May.

He later sobbed as he claimed James had threatened to "cave his skull in" but jurors saw through his lies and he was today convicted of murder.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Layton had stepped off a bus and walked into the road oblivious to James' approaching car.

The dad, who was forced to make an emergency stop, angrily told Layton: “I nearly knocked you over, I have a kid in the car with me."

After launching into a foul-mouthed tirade, Layton was then seen on CCTV marching towards James and his son.

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Chilling footage showed yank the car door open and stab James around four times before putting the blade back in his backpack and walking away.

James sadly died in the back of an air ambulance just minutes after the attack.

Tragically, his wife had called him to warn that traffic was bad in the area due to the ongoing incident.

Prosecutor Peter Makepeace, QC, said: "Mr Layton turned and walked towards the BMW in what you might assess as a purposeful way and rapidly pulled open that door.

"Mr Stokoe was heard to say ‘woah’.

"As Mr Stokoe sat in his vehicle Mr Layton delivered four thrusting blows into that car. Three went into Mr Stokoe's right thigh and one pierced his arm, no doubt as Mr Stokoe made a futile attempt to fend off that attack.

"Just how futile can be appreciated when you see the size of the knife being used to attack him."

'HORRIFIC'

After the killing, brazen Layton dumped the carving knife and went camping in Great Ayton.

He was eventually caught the next night by police while in a pizza shop.

Chris Atkinson, Head of the Crown Court Unit at CPS North East said: “Alexander Layton committed a horrific fatal attack on James Stokoe as a result of a relatively minor verbal altercation.

“Despite the fact that Mr Stokoe had told him that he was driving his young son, Layton repeatedly stabbed him before leaving his gravely injured victim alone in his car with a 4-year old child. Though by-passers rushed to Mr Stokoe’s aid, he was to tragically die from his injuries a short time later.

“From his initial contact with police, Alexander Layton has insisted that he had only ever acted in self-defence to protect himself from Mr Stokoe.

"The Crown Prosecution Service has pieced together text messages, CCTV and eyewitness accounts to show not only that his use of a knife against an unarmed man was an act of murder, but that he had also been carrying the knife that day with the intent of causing someone serious harm.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of James Stokoe at this difficult time and we sincerely hope that the conviction of Layton today provides some measure of comfort to them.”    

Layton will be sentenced tomorrow.

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