BREAKING NEWS: Brother guilty of samurai sword murder

editorial image
0
Have your say

Tuesday, 5pm - Julian Mayfield-Sparks has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his brother Corin.

Tuesday, 5pm - Julian Mayfield-Sparks has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his brother Corin.

Mother Deanna Mayfield-Sparks wept as he was jailed for life at Lincoln Crown Court.

She made an impassioned plea for her son Julian, 21, to be shown mercy, saying she did not want to see "another life wasted".

But a judge said he had no choice but to pass a life term and recommended Julian serve a minimum of 12 years before being considered for parole.

Judge John Milmo QC, speaking at the end of an emotional trial, confessed: "This is one of the most traumatic cases that I can ever recall dealing with.

"I would like to express my personal sympathy to Mrs Mayfield-Sparks for the appalling situation she has been in for some time - and will be."

Mrs Mayfield-Sparks had earlier broken down as she told how Julian, a martial arts fan, plunged a 2ft-long blade into his brother Corin's heart.

She said the incident - the result of an initially trivial row over noise from a computer - was so horrific that she had blocked some of it from her mind.

Mrs Mayfield-Sparks could do nothing as Corin, 18, slumped to the floor and bled to death in front of her within minutes, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Julian - whose favourite film was Quentin Tarantino's violent samurai-influenced revenge thriller Kill Bill - later told police: "I've stabbed my brother."

The former chef, of Bridge End Road, Grantham, Lincs, denied murdering Corin on June 1 last year, claiming he raised the sword only in self-defence.

After he was convicted by a jury his sobbing mother, speaking from the public gallery, told Judge Milmo: "This is a plea from the heart from a mother.

"I would respectfully implore he should not be given too long a sentence. He has much to give his community and family. I do not want another wasted life."

Earlier, in a hand-written note to the judge, she said: "Julian is a wonderful son who has supported his brother and sister and did his best to support me.

"Corin and Julian loved each other very much, and I loved them equally. Julian is a fine young man, intelligent and caring, and has always worked hard."

On the night of the stabbing Julian was watching a film on his laptop computer with friends while Corin was in his attic bedroom with his own pals.

During the evening the teenager complained a number of times about the noise from Julian's room - and at one point struck him with a rounders bat.

Giving evidence, Mrs Mayfield-Sparks said Julian came downstairs to alert her to the incident, adding: "I just wanted to defuse the situation."

She said when she reached the landing of the terraced property she discovered her younger son with his legs dangling from the attic hatch.

She told the court: "This is where it gets really difficult. It is so horrific that some of it has been blocked out. I just want to be fair to everybody.

"Corin came down the ladder. I was facing him. Everything happened within a split second. I saw the sword go in. It came past me - it was dark.

"I can remember seeing it go in and come out again. It all happened so quickly. Corin sort of put his hands up and said: 'Julian, you've stabbed me.'

"We are talking about something that happened literally within the space of seconds. All I can remember now is snapshots, but they are not sequential."

The court heard the blow from the sword cut eight inches into Corin's aorta and into his heart, leaving him to bleed to death in a matter of minutes.

Julian, a former chef, told the jury: "I accept that I fatally injured Corin, but I never intended to kill him. I didn't intend to cause him any harm.

"His face was bright red. He was doing what he always does when he gets angry - he sticks his tongue out and bites on it and purses his lips.

"It's like watching a kettle boil over. You know that's the point the kettle is going to boil over. I thought he was getting angrier, so I got worried.

"I went straight into my bedroom and picked up the sword. I thought it would keep Corin at a distance. My intention was purely defence.

"When he saw it that was it. That was the moment the kettle went over and boiled. He moved round very sharply. It was all in a split second."

"I thought the blade was useless. I didn't really believe the sword could have done any damage. My intention was just to keep him away."

The court heard Julian, who had recently moved back home after six years living elsewhere, had "a particular fascination with martial arts swords".

John Pini QC, prosecuting, told the jury: "One of his favourite films was Kill Bill, which features these sorts of swords quite prominently."

Jailing him, the judge told Julian: "This happened in the presence of your mother, who had not only to watch her son die but give evidence about it.

"I have doubts whether you intended to kill him. My own view is that you intended to teach him a lesson he would not forget once and for all."

Edward Jenkins QC, defending, said: "This case is a tragedy. No-one wishes to add to that. Not only is Corin a victim, but the rest of the family are victims, too."

Day ten

Tuesday, 1pm - THE jury in the trial of a man accused of stabbing his brother to death as their mother looked on helplessly has retired to consider its verdict.

Julian Mayfield-Sparks is alleged to have murdered his 18-year-old brother Corin with a samurai sword after a trivial row spiralled into violence.

The prosecution claims he wanted "revenge" after Corin had earlier attacked him with a rounders bout in an argument over noise from a computer.

But Julian told Lincoln Crown Court he never intended to kill or even cause him any harm during the incident at the family's Grantham home.

Giving evidence at his trial, the 21-year-old, a former chef, of Bridge End Road in the town, claimed Corin was "like a kettle boiling over".

He told a jury he fetched the sword from his bedroom because he feared he might be attacked and wanted to keep his brother "at a distance".

Julian said the incident happened "in a split second" and he didn't intend the sword to make contact with Corin, who bled to death within minutes.

Julian denies murder as a result of the alleged attack, which happened on June 1 last year and was witnessed by the boys' mother Deanna.

The trial continues.

Day nine

Monday, 12.45pm - A MAN accused of murdering his brother has told a jury he intended only to defend himself when he grabbed a 2ft-long samurai sword.

Julian Mayfield-Sparks is alleged to have stabbed his 18-year-old brother Corin with the weapon after a trivial row spiralled into violence.

He told Lincoln Crown Court: "I accept I fatally injured Corin, but I never intended to kill him. I didn't intend to cause him any harm."

Julian said that moments earlier Corin had attacked him with a rounders bat, prompting him to wake their mother and ask her to intervene.

Giving evidence at his trial, the 21-year-old former chef, of Bridge End Road, Grantham, told a jury: "I could see Corin's face. It was bright red.

"He was angry. He was doing what he always does when he gets angry - he sticks his tongue out and bites on it and purses his lips.

"It's like watching a kettle boil over. You know that's the point the kettle is going to boil over. I thought he was getting angrier, so I got worried.

"I thought that at some point he was going to get past mum or that mum would move out of the way and that he was going to go for me."

He added: "I went straight into my bedroom and picked up the sword. I knew it was blunt. I thought it would keep him at a distance.

"I took the sheath off because otherwise I didn't think he would take me seriously. I went out on to the landing. Corin hadn't calmed down.

"I'm pretty sure that he still had the bat in his hand. I turned to face him with the sword in my hand. My intention was purely defence.

"When he saw it that was it. That was the moment the kettle went over and boiled. He moved round very sharply. It was all in a split second.

"I just brought the sword up in front of me. My purpose was to put distance between me and Corin. I thought he would see the sword and back off.

"I thought the blade was useless. I didn't really believe the sword could have done any damage. My intention was just to keep him away."

Julian insisted he had feared his brother might attack him again, telling the court: "I didn't intend the sword should make contact with him.

"I felt no resistance. I've worked as a chef and know what it's like to cut meat and stab things. I know what resistance feels like - and I felt none."

Asked how he felt afterwards, Julian, who denies murder, said: "I felt like someone had put a noose around my neck and kicked out the chair."

The jury was earlier told Julian was arrested by police outside the family's terraced home, where the incident took place on June 1 last year.

He learned of his brother's death several hours later when he was woken up in a police cell and told he was being arrested for murder.

The trial continues.

Day seven

Thursday, 3.40pm - A man accused of murdering his brother with a samurai sword as their mother watched helplessly insisted today (Thu) that he did not plan to attack him.

Julian Mayfield-Sparks admitted he and his brother Corin had a "love-hate" relationship but claimed they were "getting on all right" on the day of his death.

He told a jury at Lincoln Crown Court: "I would never wish him dead. I can only think good things about Corin now. I have hundreds of happy memories."

When asked by his barrister, Edward Jenkins QC, if he regretted what happened during the incident last June, the 21-year-old replied: "Definitely.

"It was a love-hate relationship. We had rows - verbal rows that led to physical violence, punching, kicking. Sometimes objects might be picked up.

"It was an all-round thing. We were the best of friends at other times, thick as thieves, but we could have our arguments and didn't see eye-to-eye."

The court heard Julian had described himself in police interviews as a "retard scrapper", claiming to have had "hundreds" of fights with his brother.

But, giving evidence on the seventh day of his trial, he said the description he gave of himself was wrong and he had exaggerated the number of fights.

He told the jury: "I think I was in too much shock at the time after being arrested for murder and being told that my brother was dead."

Julian said that on the night of the incident Corin, 18, was happy after successfully obtaining a job as a result of an interview earlier in the day.

The prosecution claim the brothers had a falling-out at their home over a minor dispute about Corin's complaint of noise from Julian's computer.

The court has heard how after a confrontation in which Corin struck his brother with a rounders bat Julian fetched their mother, Deanna.

She was standing between them, attempting to calm down the situation, when Julian allegedly thrust a 2ft-bladed sword into Corin's chest.

The teenager, whose heart was pierced by the weapon, slumped to the ground and died within minutes, despite desperate efforts to save his life.

Julian later told police: "When I took that sword in my hand the only thing in my head was defence. It was in no way to cause harm or anything like that.

"I couldn't contemplate causing harm to my own family. We never saw eye-to-eye, but I never, never, never, ever think about hurting my family - never."

Julian, of Bridge End Road, Grantham, who denies murdering Corin on June 1, will continue giving evidence when the trial continues tomorrow.

Day Five

Tuesday, 3.15pm - A teenager today told a murder trial jury how he saw the fatal wound inflicted on Corin Mayfield-Sparks.

David Matthews, 18, said that he watched as brothers Julian and Corin Mayfield-Sparks argued over the noise from Julian's computer.

Then, he said, Julian took a samurai sword and moved "fast" towards Corin with the weapon in his hand.

He told the jury "I didn't see Corin make any move to attack Julian. There was a sudden flash. There was a quick jab.

"It sounded like Corin was gasping for air. He said 'You've stabbed me Julian' then he fell back.

"I heard a thud and then heard his mother cry. I went to see if Corin was alright. We took off his tee-shirt. There was just a slight cut but then it started bleeding.

"Julian came into the bedroom and threw the sword onto the bed. It was like an empty expression he had on his face .

"He sat on the end of the bed for a couple of seconds and then left the room."

The prosecution claim that Julian Mayfield-Sparks deliberately stabbed his younger brother Corin on the landing of the family's terraced house at Bridge End Road, Grantham.

But the defence claim that Corin moved forward and accidentally impaled himself on the two-foot long sword while it was being held by Julian.

Julian Mayfield-Sparks,21, of Bridge End Road, Grantham, denies the murder of 18 year old Corin on 1 June 2007. The trial continues.

Day four

Monday, 4.15pm - A teenager allegedly murdered when his elder brother stabbed him with a samurai sword bled to death within minutes, a jury was told today.

Home Office pathologist Dr Clive Bouch said the 2ft-long weapon cut Corin Mayfield-Sparks' main artery, causing massive bleeding.

The blade entered eight inches into his body, slicing the sack of his heart and going into his left lung, Dr Bouch told Lincoln Crown Court.

He said the injury was "consistent" with a deliberate stab and added: "Moderate to severe force would be required to cause the injury.

"The cut into the aorta caused massive blood-loss. It would have been in the region of three minutes between the stab wound and death."

Dr Bouch said that in his opinion it was "unlikely" Corin had moved forward and impaled himself on the weapon, as suggested by the defence.

"From the information given to me, I would favour that it was a deliberate stab. It is more than marginal. It is getting towards strong," he said.

The prosecution say Corin's brother Julian stabbed him in the chest at the family home in Bridge End Road, Grantham, after a row about noise.

The brothers allegedly had a "love-hate relationship" characterised by big fall-outs that were followed by them quickly making up with each other.

Julian, 21, of Bridge End Road, denies the murder of 18-year-old Corin as a result of the incident on June 1 last year.

The trial continues.

Day three

Friday, 4.30pm - A mother who witnessed one of her sons kill the other while trying to quell a minor dispute told a jury today that she could not believe what happened.

Deanna Mayfield-Sparks, giving evidence on the third day of her 21-year-old son Julian's trial for murdering his brother Corin,18, said that she can now only remember snapshots of the incident at the family home in Bridge End Road, Grantham.

She told the jury that when she gave an account to police three days later she was still in shock.

Mrs Mayfield-Sparks said: "I was in the most extreme shock that anyone could go through. It was total disbelief because I could not believe what had happened.

"My mind was absolutely in turmoil. I just could not think that could have happened.

"Knowing the boys, I know that this was never going to happen."

The jury at Lincoln Crown Court heard that Corin died after he was stabbed in the chest by his elder brother Julian using a samurai sword.

Their mother said that afterwards Julian left the sword in his bedroom and went downstairs.

She said: "It was just as though he (Julian] was in a trance. I didn't think Corin was seriously hurt because I didn't see any blood."

Julian Mayfield-Sparks, aged 21, of Bridge End Road, Grantham, denies murder on June 1, 2007. The trial continues.

Day two

Thursday, 5.45pm - The mother of Corin Mayfield-Sparks wept in court today as she told of the moment her son was killed with a samurai sword.

Deanna Mayfield-Sparks broke down as she recalled how her martial arts fan son Julian plunged the 2ft-long blade into his brother Corin's heart.

She said the incident - the result of an initially trivial row over noise from a computer - was so horrific that she had blocked some of it from her mind.

A jury heard how Mrs Mayfield-Sparks could do nothing as Corin, 18, suffered the fatal blow on what should have been "the happiest day of his life".

She was left crying hysterically as the teenager slumped to the floor and bled to death in front of her within minutes, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Julian - whose favourite film was Quentin Tarantino's violent samurai-influenced revenge thriller Kill Bill - later told police: "I've stabbed my brother."

Mrs Mayfield-Sparks, a mother-of-seven, told how Corin died just hours after learning he had found work with a local builder - his first-ever job.

She said: "It was a really good day for him. He had three of his best friends round. He said it was the happiest day of his life - and it was."

On the night of the stabbing Julian, 20, was watching a film on his laptop with friends while Corin was in his attic bedroom with his own pals.

During the evening the teenager complained a number of times about the noise from Julian's room - and at one point struck him with a rounders bat.

Mrs Mayfield-Sparks said Julian came downstairs to alert her to the incident, adding: "I got dressed and went as quickly as I could up the stairs.

"I just wanted to defuse the situation. Basically, the lads had had an argument, and I was just going to get in there and try to calm them down."

She said when she reached the landing of the terraced property she found Corin with his legs dangling from the attic hatch.

She told the court: "This is where it gets really difficult. It is so horrific that some of it has been blocked out. I just want to be fair to everybody.

"Corin came down the ladder. I was facing him. Everything happened within a split second. I saw the sword go in. It came past me - it was dark.

"I can remember seeing it go in and come out again. It all happened so quickly. Corin sort of put his hands up and said: 'Julian, you've stabbed me.'

"We are talking about something that happened literally within the space of seconds. All I can remember now is snapshots, but they are not sequential."

Earlier Mrs Mayfield-Sparks said her family had been in dire financial straits since her former husband Fred, the boys' father, walked out in 2000.

She told the court the situation left them struggling even to afford food and she was forced to give up a university course she had started.

Mrs Mayfield-Sparks, who said the brothers had had arguments in the past "but nothing terribly violent", described Corin as "a wonderful son".

She said: "He was so kind and loving and supportive. But there were times when he frightened me - his behaviour would change very suddenly."

The court heard the blow from the sword cut eight inches into Corin's aorta and into his heart, leaving him to bleed to death in a matter of minutes.

His brother later told police he was simply holding the weapon in his hand when the teenager approached him and accidentally impaled himself.

Julian, now 21, of Bridge End Road, Grantham, denies murdering his brother on June 1 last year, claiming he raised the sword only in self-defence.

The trial continues.

Day One

Wednesday, 5pm - A martial arts fan stabbed his own brother to death with a samurai sword as their mother tried to keep them apart, a court was told today.

Julian Mayfield-Sparks plunged the blade into his brother Corin's chest after a trivial row over noise spiralled into terrifying violence, a jury heard.

Their mother Deanna stood helplessly between the pair as 18-year-old Corin suffered the fatal blow on the landing of the family's Grantham home.

She was left crying hysterically as the teenager slumped to the floor and bled to death as she looked on helplessly, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Julian - whose favourite film was Quentin Tarantino's violent samurai-influenced revenge thriller Kill Bill - later told police: "I've stabbed my brother."

John Pini QC, prosecuting, told the jury: "All cases of murder are tragedies, but there are two features that make this tragedy particularly distressing.

"The first is that this is the case of a brother killing his brother. The second is that standing between the two of them was their mother Deanna.

"She is going to have to face the almost unimaginable ordeal of having to give evidence as to how one of her sons died at the hands of the other."

He said Mrs Mayfield-Spark's plight was "extremely distressing", adding: "The powers of the English language can hardly do justice to such a dilemma."

The court heard Julian, 20 at the time of the killing, had "a love-hate relationship" with Corin that involved massive fall-outs followed by making up.

Mr Pini said: "Sometimes those flare-ups resulted in violence, and sometimes weapons were used. But often they would just wind each other up.

"The impression one gets is that both boys had their good points and their faults. Both could be loving, but both could use force on the other."

Mr Pini said Julian had recently returned home after six years living with his girlfriend's family - leading to "immediate tension" between the brothers.

They shared a bedroom at first, but eventually their mother allowed Julian to sleep in her room while she slept downstairs in the living-room.

On the night of the stabbing Julian was watching a film on his laptop with friends while Corin was in his attic bedroom with friends of his own.

During the evening the teenager complained a number of times about the noise from Julian's room - and at one point struck him with a rounders bat.

Mr Pini said: "Julian then went down to the ground floor to tell his mother that Corin had hit him. His mother put her clothes on and went upstairs.

"What happened next was seen by a number of witnesses. Deanna went upstairs and was standing between her sons at the crucial moment.

"She says Julian was angry. She said to Corin: 'What the hell do you think you're doing?' She thinks Julian said to Corin: 'Come on, get down here.'

"Corin waited for a short while before he came down. She can't say whether he had anything in his hand when he came down that ladder.

"She says she went towards Corin. She was 18 inches away and facing him. What she was trying to do was to talk to Corin to defuse this situation.

"At that point she saw a black sword come down her right-hand side. She saw it go into Corin. Corin stood there and said: 'Julian, you've stabbed me.'

"Deanna said: 'But there's no blood.' Corin said: 'But I've been stabbed, mum.' He stood for no more than a couple of seconds and collapsed.

"He was slumped against the door. Julian made no attempt to help. One of their friends tried to stem the blood, and the emergency services were called.

"Resuscitation was attempted, but it was futile. Mrs Mayfield-Sparks was crying hysterically. The scene in the house can only be imagined."

The court heard the blow from the 2ft-bladed samurai word cut eight inches into Corin's aorta, leaving him to bleed to death in a matter of minutes.

His brother later told police he was simply holding the sword in his hand when the teenager came towards him and accidentally impaled himself.

But Mr Pini said: "He wanted to teach his brother a lesson. He deliberately stabbed his brother in a way that death or really serious harm was inevitable.

"In that split second of rage this defendant intended to take revenge on his brother for what he perceived as unfair treatment at his hands."

He added: "He had a particular fascination with martial arts swords. When he moved back in he brought with him his collection of samurai swords.

"These included the weapon used to kill Corin. One of his favourite films was Kill Bill, which features these sorts of swords quite prominently."

Julian, now 21, of Bridge End Road, Grantham, denies murdering his brother on June 1 last year, claiming he raised the sword only in self-defence.

The trial continues.

CLICK HERE to email us your YOUR NEWS or your views on the news.

She was 18 inches away and facing him. What she was trying to do was to talk to Corin to defuse this situation.

"At that point she saw a black sword come down her right-hand side. She saw it go into Corin. Corin stood there and said: 'Julian, you've stabbed me.'

"Deanna said: 'But there's no blood.' Corin said: 'But I've been stabbed, mum.' He stood for no more than a couple of seconds and collapsed.

"He was slumped against the door. Julian made no attempt to help. One of their friends tried to stem the blood, and the emergency services were called.

"Resuscitation was attempted, but it was futile. Mrs Mayfield-Sparks was crying hysterically. The scene in the house can only be imagined."

The court heard the blow from the 2ft-bladed samurai word cut eight inches into Corin's aorta, leaving him to bleed to death in a matter of minutes.

His brother later told police he was simply holding the sword in his hand when the teenager came towards him and accidentally impaled himself.

But Mr Pini said: "He wanted to teach his brother a lesson. He deliberately stabbed his brother in a way that death or really serious harm was inevitable.

"In that split second of rage this defendant intended to take revenge on his brother for what he perceived as unfair treatment at his hands."

He added: "He had a particular fascination with martial arts swords. When he moved back in he brought with him his collection of samurai swords.

"These included the weapon used to kill Corin. One of his favourite films was Kill Bill, which features these sorts of swords quite prominently."

Julian, now 21, of Bridge End Road, Grantham, denies murdering his brother on June 1 last year, claiming he raised the sword only in self-defence.

The trial continues.