St Neots man Kai Nazir was sentenced to life imprisonment today (Monday) for the murder of Chris West.

Cambridge Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANTCambridge Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Nazir, of The Crescent, stabbed Mr West 12 times at the Monkfield Arms pub in Cambourne, in October last year.

He also stabbed Daniel Berryman on the same night, though Mr Berryman survived thanks to the quick intervention of pub goers and emergency services.

Nazi was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 26 years, at Cambridge Crown Court.

He was found guilty of murdering Mr West and attempting to murder Mr Berryman following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court in July.

The knife used in the attackThe knife used in the attack

Nazir, 20, 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.

It took the jury just over three hours to come to a decision on all three counts.

Addressing Nazir in sentencing, Judge David Farrell said: “No sentence of any criminal court can ever reflect the loss of life that you have caused. There is only one sentence I can impose for murder and that is custodial for life.

“That means that you will serve at least 26 years before the parole board may consider whether it is safe for you to be released. 318 days are deducted for time already spent in custody, for attempted murder: it will be 15 years to be served concurrently. For possessing the knife: two years concurrently.”

Chris and Becky WestChris and Becky West

In the hours before the brutal stabbings at the Monkfield Arms pub, Mr West, 30, and Mr Berryman, 26, were enjoying a Halloween party.

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. He underwent emergency, surgery at Papworth Hospital.

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.

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.