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Levi Westhead, 18, stabbed Mark Webster, 50, a total of 12 times after he went to the family home in Blackpool and demanded to see his 16-year-old daughter.
The bully rolled his eyes during sentencing at Preston Crown Court today as Mr Webster’s family detailed the utter devastation of him in their victim impact statements.
An ‘obsessed’ Westhead had been in a rocky relationship with the girl for around 18 months, bombarding her with abusive text messages and telling her to kill herself.
At trial, the court heard how he sent her up to 300 messages and phone calls a day and created fake social media profiles in an attempt to communicate with her.
On the afternoon of July 23, 2021, he armed himself with a kitchen knife and then tried to force his way into her home with the intention of physically threatening her.
Westhead claimed he had acted in self-defense, but a jury was unconvinced and found him guilty of murder on January 28 this year.
But his father refused to let him in through the front door.
Westhead then headed to the rear of the property, where he got into a fight with Webster in the yard and stabbed him multiple times in the chest and abdomen, the court heard.
He was arrested shortly after the attack when he was found hiding in a neighboring garden.
He claimed that he had acted in self-defense, but a jury was unconvinced and found him guilty of murder on January 28 this year.
At his sentencing in Preston Crown Court today, Mr. Webster, known as Web, was praised as “a real man and a real hero”, who tried to protect his daughter from an “evil, controlling and stalker”.
Westhead, dressed in a red polo shirt, sighed and rolled his eyes as victim statements were read from Webster’s bereaved wife, Michelle, their daughter and 12-year-old son.
Michelle said: ‘I met Web when she was 15, and we started dating when we were 16, childhood sweethearts.
‘He was my first and only love. Words cannot begin to describe how heartbroken and devastated I am. We did it all together.
We adore each other. He was the love of my life. We had been together 31 years. He was the most placid, funny, caring gentleman.
‘That night my website was taken away was a night I will never forget, and one I will relive daily.
‘Web tried to protect the family from him and that’s what he did, and he ultimately paid with his life.
Levi has taken over our world in such a reckless way.
Our hopes and dreams have been completely destroyed and despite my best efforts, I cannot imagine any future without (Mark) in our lives.
‘This has completely destroyed me, my family and all of our lives.
‘Web was the rock of the family, heart and soul, and he paid the ultimate price to protect the family from him. A true man and a true hero.
Her daughter described Westhead as “an evil, controlling, stalker boy” who had abused her during their 18 months together.
She said: ‘I don’t feel comfortable going out anymore. Any little noise I hear scares me. If I see someone who looks like [Westhead], I freeze.
“I have terrible nightmares where Levi kills me and my father, and he is very disturbing.
The murder of Mark Webster has deprived his immediate family of their father figure and primary breadwinner.
“He was a very dear and caring man for whom nothing seemed too much trouble.
‘He was a hard-working and no-nonsense man, ‘an extra special human being’ ‘a placid gentleman’ ‘loved by so many people’ ‘kind’, ‘adorable’, ‘a real man’ and a ‘true hero’ that he had established for his family a decent life and a decent lifestyle.
He died protecting them.
‘The loss suffered by Michelle Webster and her family is irreparable. The reality is that no sentence a court could impose could equal the value of Mark Webster’s life.
‘To respectfully adopt Michelle Webster’s own phrase: ‘no prayer could ever be enough’.
Chief Detective Officer Jane Webb of the Lancashire Police Force Majeure Investigative Team said: “Levi Westhead became obsessed with Mark Webster’s daughter and when all his efforts to contact her failed he took the drastic step of bringing a knife to his house”.
“Obsessive controlling behavior is not normal or healthy in any relationship and Westhead’s harmful use of social media platforms and bullying in this teenage relationship was the precursor to this horrific attack.
“Sadly, today’s sentencing provides no relief from the terrible loss that Mr. Webster’s family and friends have suffered, and my thoughts remain with them.”
In a statement, the family said: “Conviction notwithstanding, it will not bring Web back or ease the pain of him not being with us.” However, it gives us some comfort knowing that Levi Westhead is where he belongs during the term of his sentence. His death was so unnecessary.
“We would like to thank the police, the prosecution team and the jury for bringing us this justice.”