A MAN has been jailed for life for the murder of 20-year-old Irish Traveller John Joyce after a row over pool rules.
Lyndon Smiyth, 46, from Bilston, claimed he had acted in self-defence when he stabbed Mr Joyce in Wolverhampton last August.
However after being found guilty of murder, he was today sentenced to life in prison and told he must serve a minimum of 22 years.
In a statement read to the court, the victim’s mother Rose Joyce said her heart was ‘broken in pieces’.
“No mother should have to bury their child, but to have a child taken away from you in such a cold and brutal way is just unbearable,” she said.
“Every day I have to get up and face another day without my baby boy.
“My heart is broken in pieces – he was everything to me and now he's gone.
“The worst thing is he died alone and I wasn’t there to hold his hand.”
Smith had been playing pool with Mr Joyce and his friends in the Market Tavern, Church Street, Bilston on August 17, 2017 when a row broke out over the rules.
Smith left the pub but returned later that evening armed with a 14cm knife and attacked the Irishman as he headed towards a taxi rank in Bilston High Street.
During a fight Mr Joyce, from Ennis, Co. Clare, was stabbed four times.
Paramedics performed emergency CPR and used a defibrillator in the back of an ambulance but despite their efforts, Mr Joyce died at the scene.
A post mortem revealed he died from a stab wound to the chest.
Smith was arrested on suspicion of murder by officers a short time later and claimed he’d acted in self-defence.
However after deliberating for three days, a jury found him guilty of murder.