October 4, 2010 5.07 pm This story is over 161 months old

Life sentence for Stuart Whitelaw’s killer

Relief: The man who admitted to fatally stabbing Stuart Whitelaw in May has been jailed for life.

Joe Palmer, the man who stabbed 11 times with a “fearsome” hunting knife Stuart Whitelaw (pictured) in May, was jailed for life on Monday, October 4.

Palmer (26) or Allenby Close, Lincoln, was convicted at the Lincoln Crown Court, with a recommendation to serve at least 21 years in prison.

Whitelaw (40), father-of-three of Elder Street, Licoln, was attacked in the Mezz Bar in Ruston Way, near the University of Lincoln, on May 3.

He was then taken to Lincoln County Hospital following a 999 call in the early hours of the morning, but died of his injuries shortly afterwards.

After he was charged, Palmer did not apply for bail, and was remanded in custody.

During the trial, Charmaine Wells (22) of Allenby Close, Lincoln, had been charged with perverting the course of justice in relation to the investigation.

The Mezz Bar, where the incident took place, had its licence to sell alcohol temporarily suspended following a police appeal in July.

The venue then reopened in September under a new name, The Pav Lounge, and with a change in licence, allowing only student customers on its premises.

After the sentencing, Dept Chief Insp Shaun West of Lincoln CID praised the witnesses who gave evidence in this trial, despite fear of reprisals.

“This is a real example of how, if a community pulls together and works with the police, we can make this city a safer place to live.

“A violent criminal is now in prison for a significant period of time thanks to their hard work.

“I hope that the conclusion of proceedings will be the first step along the way for some kind of closure for the family,” West added.

Whitelaw’s sister, Sharon Whitelaw said: “There are no words to describe how we feel over the loss of Stuart.

“He was full of life and lived life to the full. He had such a big heart and there is now a huge void in so many people’s lives, especially those of his children, his partner and his family and friends.

“No prison sentence will ever compensate for his loss, or will ever bring him back.

“We would like to say a big thank you to the people who had the courage to come forward and to Lincolnshire Police for their efforts in making sure we got justice and for their continued support.”

A Facebook tribute page in Whitelaw’s memory now has over 3,500 members.

Source: Lincoln Crown Court | Photo: Lincolnshire Police | Related Report: BBC News