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'Cold blooded murder' - Man found guilty of killing father-of-two in brutal knife attack

PUBLISHED: 16:45 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:31 11 June 2019

Roland Heinbergs and the scene of the murder on Rose Lane. Photo: Police

Roland Heinbergs and the scene of the murder on Rose Lane. Photo: Police

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A jury has taken less than an hour to find a man guilty of stabbing to death a father-of-two in Norwich.

David Hastings           Picture: Norfolk PoliceDavid Hastings Picture: Norfolk Police

David Hastings, 48, suffered 13 stab wounds including a fatal one to the heart in a brutal attack, Norwich Crown Court has been told.

Mr Hastings, formerly of Long Row, Norwich, was knifed in his back, chest, neck and mouth, while walking away from Rose Lane car park with his girlfriend in the early hours of June 23, last year.

Rolands Heinbergs, 23, of no fixed address, had pleaded not guilty to his murder, but declined to give evidence in his defence, after the prosecution closed its case.

The jury of five men and seven women took just 51 minutes to find Heinbergs guilty of murder.

There was no emotion from Heinbergs as the verdict was announced, although there was a quiet sob from those supporting Mr Hastings in the public gallery.

Judge Stephen Holt warned Heinbergs that a lengthy prison sentence will be inevitable. He is due to be sentenced today (Tuesday).

Rolands Heinbergs. Photo: Norfolk policeRolands Heinbergs. Photo: Norfolk police

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The jury had heard closing speeches in the case before the judge summed up his case on Monday afternoon (June 10).

In his final speech to the jury, prosecutor Wayne Cleaver said it was a clear case of murder and described it as a "savage" attack.

He said Heinbergs had given no answers to the court about the events of that night and said: "He does not tell you because he has got no answer. This was cold blooded murder."

Andrew Oliver, for Heinbergs, told the jury that the defendant had given no positive defence in his case.

He said: "As a result, there was little if any challenge to the witnesses the prosection has called."

Rolands Heinbergs      PIC: From Rolands Heinberg's Facebook pageRolands Heinbergs PIC: From Rolands Heinberg's Facebook page

However he said he would be failing in his duty if he did not say to the jury that they should consider any verdict with care and attention as the defendant was charged with one of the most "grave and serious" crimes in the criminal calendar.

The trial has heard that Mr Hastings was a complete stranger to the defendant and was in the "wrong place at the wrong time" when the incident occurred.

The court was told how Heinbergs arrived in the UK from Latvia in January, last year.

He found work initially with a delivery firm and then found work at a Suffolk food business before he came to Norwich on June 21.

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