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Man jailed for life after Milton Keynes New Year’s Eve murder

|News, Violent crime

A man has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 28 years after a teenager who was visiting friends on New Year’s Eve was murdered in a savage knife attack.

Callum Aylett, 21, went to an address in Milton Keynes armed with two kitchen knives following an ongoing feud with the residents, who lived near him.

In their statements, witnesses who were at the address described how he arrived uninvited in the early hours of 1 January this year looking for one of the residents, with whom he had been in confrontation the previous day. While waiting for the man to arrive, Aylett behaved aggressively, accusing people at the address of throwing a chair leg over his garden fence and brandishing the knives towards them.

Jay Fathers, 18, stood up to Aylett’s intimidating and bullying behaviour and the offender responded by stabbing Jay at least five times, causing horrific injuries to his arm, leg, chest and abdomen. Friends present at the scene provided CPR and emergency services tried to save Mr Fathers, but he was pronounced dead in hospital an hour later.

Aylett initially denied any wrongdoing, insisting that he had simply gone to the address to talk to the occupants and that he himself had been attacked for no reason.

However, DNA testing of the knives, which were later found in a toilet cistern at the defendant’s home, forced him to admit responsibility for the stabbing. Although Aylett maintained that he acted in self-defence, the Crown Prosecution Service presented evidence from witness statements and medical experts who examined Mr Father’s injuries to prove that Aylett had gone to the party intending to cause serious harm.

One witness said Aylett had laughed when he stabbed Jay and a video was found on his phone, in which he recorded himself talking about his plans to stab people about an hour before the attack.

He was convicted of murder at Luton Crown Court on 17 August 2021 following a three-week trial and was also found guilty of wounding with intent after stabbing another man who tried to intervene in the attack on Mr Fathers.

Lawyer Kirsty O’Connor for the Crown Prosecution Service said: “This is a tragic case in which a young man, with his whole future ahead of him, lost his life in a senseless attack.

“The strength of the evidence we presented gave the defendant no choice but to finally accept that he was responsible for the stabbings and that he took the weapons with him to the scene, even though he claimed that he acted in self-defence.

“While today’s sentence cannot undo what happened to Jay Fathers, we hope that it brings some sense of justice to his family and friends, who have all suffered a terrible loss.

“Aylett’s actions serve as another example of how carrying knives provokes violence and ruins lives.”

Notes to editors

  • Callum Aylett (DOB 08.11.1999) was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 28 years at Luton Crown Court on 11 October 2021.
  • He was convicted of one count of murder and one count of wounding with intent at Luton Crown Court on 17 August 2021.
  • Kirsty O’Connor is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service.

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