St Neots man Kai Nazir has been found guilty of murdering Chris West and attempting to murder his friend Daniel Berryman following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

Chris and Becky WestChris and Becky West

St Neots man Kai Nazir has been found guilty of murdering Chris West and attempting to murder his friend Daniel Berryman following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

Nazir, 20, of The Crescent, who had claimed mistaken identity in the case of Mr Berryman and self defence in relation to Mr West, was also found guilty of possessing a bladed article.

There were emotional scenes at Cambridge Crown Court today (Thursday) as the jury foreman read out the guilty verdicts to the hushed court room.

Mr West's wife, Rebecca, and the families of both men have attended for the duration of the 11-day trial and were visibly upset.

The knife used in the attackThe knife used in the attack

It took the jury just over three hours to come to a decision on all three counts and after the verdicts were read out, Judge David Farrell QC told Nazir that although there was a minimum 25-year term for murder, he wanted to see a psychiatric report before sentencing.

He said: "He is a young man who behaved in a way that caused a death and a near death and, although there has been some level of history, it was nothing in this league.

"I would like to know a bit more about him."

Prosecutor, Angela Rafferty QC, also asked the judge to consider the impact on the families before sentencing.

After the hearing, Detective Inspector Lucy Thomson, from the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit, said: "Speaking to the family and friends of Mr West and reading their statements has been truly heart-breaking. A man in the prime of his life has been suddenly, and viciously, taken from them because of Nazir's actions. I know their lives will never be the same again.

"This case once again demonstrates the dangers of carrying a knife and the tragic consequences of doing so. I would urge anyone who knows someone that carries a knife to report it. You could save a life."

In the hours before the brutal stabbings at the Monkfield Arms pub, in Cambourne, on October 28 last year, Mr West, 30, and Mr Berryman, 26, were enjoying a Halloween party. During the evening, Nazir was seen behaving in an intimidating and confrontational manner, which included making inappropriate sexual advances towards several women in the pub.

Just after midnight, he stabbed Mr Berryman in an unprovoked attack while he stood at the pub's pool table. The blow came out of the blue and it was several minutes before Mr Berryman and others realised he had been stabbed - some of his friends even thought it was fake blood pouring from his chest.

It was a potentially fatal wound that meant he was minutes from death by the time he reached hospital. The 6cm deep cut pierced the fluid-filled sac around his heart and severed an artery. He underwent emergency, surgery at Papworth Hospital and after losing about 40 per cent of his blood volume he also needed a blood transfusion and treatment for a collapsed lung.

It was said to be "nothing short of miraculous" that he survived the injury.

Nazir then used the lock knife to stab Mr West 12 times in a sustained attack that killed him in minutes. Three of the stab wounds were delivered to his chest; two were capable of killing him. One of the fatal blows was 8.5 centimetres in depth and passed through his body into his heart. The second potentially fatal wound penetrated to a depth of 5.5 centimetres. Mr West was pronounced dead at 1.20am after frantic attempts, from an off-duty doctor and paramedics, to save his life. He died on the pavement outside the pub with his wife Rebecca holding his hand.

Nazir did not take the stand to give evidence, but his defence team claimed it was a case of mistaken identity and could, in fact, have been another man in the pub that night who stabbed Daniel Berryman. Mr Berryman provided a description of the man who he believed had stabbed him, which did not match the appearance, or clothing worn by Nazir. Witness Greg Ballie, who saw the attack on Mr Berryman, described the stabber as a man in a black hat, but failed to pick Nazir out of an identity parade. In relation to Mr West, Nazir claimed he was defending himself after a group of men confronted him outside the pub believing he had stabbed Mr Berryman.

Nazir, 20, of The Crescent, will return to the court for sentencing on September 10.

Anyone who knows someone who carries a knife can report this by calling 101 or visiting www.cambs.police.uk/report. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.