Alexander Layton Wiki
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An irate highwayman stood in front of a BMW driver before stabbing him to death as his four-year-old son watched in horror from the back seat, new images show.
34-year-old Alexander Layton got off a bus and cut up 40-year-old James Stokoe’s car before the savage attack, CCTV reveals.
The driver was angry and stopped to yell at Layton, unaware that he was carrying a 12-inch kitchen knife in his backpack.
Mr. Stokoe was on his way to his parents’ house and his wife Alex, a laboratory technician at Durham University, even tried to call him to warn him that the traffic was bad due to the murder.
Layton, who had been feeling suicidal hours before intentionally leaving in front of Mr. Stokoe’s car, was convicted of murder yesterday.
A Teesside Crown Court judge today sentenced Layton to a minimum of 23 years in prison following the attack in Thornaby, Teesside, in May 2020.
The jury convicted Layton of murder and possessing an offensive weapon after deliberating for less than three hours. Pictured: The scene of the attack
The new footage showed Layton getting off the back of a bus wearing shorts, a polo shirt and carrying a plastic bag containing a large knife.
He appeared to say thank you to the driver as he stepped off and walked ahead of the vehicle.
The driver then pulled away as Layton let it pass before he walked out into the road in front of the BMW.
The white car slammed on its brakes before the driver got out and shouted at Layton.
He got back in the vehicle and pulled over at the side of the road close to the pedestrian.
Witnesses said Mr Stokoe shouted: ‘Are you f ****** daft? I nearly knocked you over. I’ve got a kid in this car. ‘
Layton, on the other side of the road at this point, apparently shouted back: ‘Are you talking to me? F *** off. I’m here. Come over. Come on. ‘
The killer stabbed Mr Stokoe three times in the leg and once in the arm before fleeing on foot.
CCTV also captured the moment the thug was arrested in a pizza shop, as police busted him before he was served.
He slowly turned around to face officers while wearing headphones, a baseball cap and carrying a rucksack.
He crawled on to his knees before lying prone as policemen swooped in to handcuff the killer.
Cleveland Police released this photo of James Stokoe with his son Harry yesterday.
His sentence today and his conviction yesterday allowed Cleveland police to release the evidence.
Judge Howard Crowson described Layton’s reaction as “disproportionate and unjustified” when he sentenced him to life in prison today.
He told the defendant: “Alexander Layton, has been convicted of the murder of James Stokoe, using a 12-inch kitchen knife that he carried as an offensive weapon.”
The judge continued: ‘James Stokoe was a happy, successful and proud husband, father and son. He did nothing to justify your attack on him.
Judge Crowson said the fatal wound was inflicted with such force that it pierced through Mr. Stokoe’s thigh and evidence showed that the victim, who was still behind the wheel of his car, was trying to turn around and ‘desperately trying to defend himself. ‘of the attack.
The judge said Stokoe was in a “vulnerable and defenseless position” during the attack, which occurred during the day on a public street and was witnessed by many.
He said: “In the car seat in the back of the car was Mr. and Mrs. Stokoe’s four-year-old son, who has been substantially affected by everything he saw and lives in fear of a similar attack. “.
Layton was found guilty yesterday of murdering Mr. Stokoe following his trial in Teesside Crown Court.
Stokoe had taken his four-year-old son to see his grandparents and the boy was tied to a car seat during the horrific attack.
Peter Makepeace QC, the prosecutor, told jurors that Layton got off a bus after a trip to a food bank when he crossed a busy main street, causing Stokoe to brake sharply.
The driver was angry and stopped to yell at Layton, unaware that he was carrying a kitchen knife in his backpack.
The defendant approached the car and, with his victim still behind the wheel, stabbed him repeatedly, causing him to bleed to death within minutes.
Thornaby’s Layton denied murder and possession of an offensive weapon, unsuccessfully claiming self-defense.
Mr. Stokoe, who worked at a local car dealership, was a complete stranger.
Mr Makepeace said: “Clearly, Mr Stokoe must have been shocked, indeed angry, at the near misses that had occurred.
“That could have been compounded by the fact that (his son) was in a booster seat in the back of the car.”
Emergency services were called and an air ambulance landed at the scene, but Mr. Stokoe died in the back of an ambulance.
His wife, a lab technician at Durham University, even called him to warn him that traffic was bad in the area due to the ongoing incident.
Layton fled the scene, dropped the carving knife, which has not been found, and went camping in Great Ayton, before being arrested the following night at a pizzeria.
In the hours immediately preceding the attack, Layton had threatened to murder a man who owed him money and his family, the court heard earlier in the case.
Earlier the same day, he had texted a contact to share conspiracy theories about 5G masts, Makepeace said.
In the early hours of that day, he also emailed Stockton City Council to say that he needed help with food and fuel and that he was feeling suicidal.
The jury convicted him of murder and possession of an offensive weapon after deliberating for less than three hours.
Judge Crowson said: ‘In a case of this kind of seriousness, we need time to reflect. The sentence for murder is life imprisonment.
The victim’s family said: ‘Nothing will bring back our beloved James and we have to live with the consequences of what happened for the rest of our lives.
“ He was a beloved husband, father, son and son-in-law and we all miss him deeply.
“James was appreciated by so many people with his wonderful, kind and gentle nature, and the loss of him to all of us is unimaginable.”
Outside court, Temporary Detective Superintendent Helen Barker said: ‘This was a shocking incident that occurred in the presence of James’ young son, which will undoubtedly have had a great effect on him.
“James’s death has had a traumatic impact on his entire family and my thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.”
She paid tribute to Mr. Stokoe’s family and thanked the many witnesses who came forward to assist in the police investigation.
Alexander Layton Quick and Facts
- Alexander Layton, 34, got off a bus and cut off 40-year-old James Stokoe’s car
- Layton was Monday convicted of murdering Mr Stokoe in front of his young son
- The thug had pleaded not guilty to the murder in Thornaby, Teesside, May 2020
- A judge at Teesside Crown Court told him a sentence for murder is life in prison