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Home / Latest News / Teenager locked up for life for killing 45-year-old man in a row about a Lionel Richie song played at his grandad’s funeral

Teenager locked up for life for killing 45-year-old man in a row about a Lionel Richie song played at his grandad’s funeral

A teenage murderer killed a 45-year-old man during a row about a Lionel Richie song played at his grandfather’s funeral.

Corey Thomas was given a life sentence yesterday with a minimum term of 10 years and 10 months after a court heard he stabbed Andrew Male 18 times with a kitchen knife.

Cardiff Crown Court was told the pair had clashed over a Lionel Richie CD that was being played while the pair were drinking at Mr Male’s home in Aberdare.

Thomas, who pleaded guilty to murder, was out on licence from a Young Offender’s Institution when he killed Mr Male on January 9.

The court heard that Thomas, 19, of Abergwawr Place, Aberdare, met Mr Male at a kebab shop at about 11.30pm and asked him for a cigarette.

Mr Male said he didn’t have one but that he had rolling tobacco at his flat.

The court heard they had both been drinking and went back to Mr Male’s home on Cardiff Road.

Andrew Male, who was killed by Corey Thomas with a kitchen knife
Andrew Male, who was killed by Corey Thomas with a kitchen knife

Thomas said he drank wine while Mr Male drank lager.

Huw Evans, prosecuting, said they had been listening to music and that one of the songs, the name of which was not revealed in court, had a “significant” effect on Thomas because it was played at his grandfather’s funeral.

Thomas said Mr Male became verbally aggressive towards him and made derogatory remarks about the song.

Mr Evans said Mr Male changed the CD and called him “kiddo”.

He said Thomas was offended about being spoken to in this way and said that Mr Male became more verbally aggressive.

The court was told Mr Thomas hit him and picked up a knife from the kitchen and stabbed Mr Male.

In his basis of plea, Thomas said Mr Male fought back holding on to him.

Thomas then stabbed him to the back, he fell on the sofa, and he stabbed him again.

The court was told Thomas left the house and knocked on the door of Deborah Corfield, who lived nearby, shortly after 3am saying “I’ve killed him. I think I’ve killed him.”

He was carrying the knife, which had an 11cm-long blade, and was covered in blood.

He told her: “I had to stop him, he was coming at me.”

He said: “I started fighting, I couldn’t stop myself.”

Mr Evans said Thomas told his sister that he got into a row with Mr Male about a Lionel Richie CD and that Mr Male was making fun of him.

Thomas was driven to the police station where he made a number of comments to the officers during the journey.

He said that if Mr Male was dead he was going to kill everyone in prison.

He said: “Why did I have to go and kill him for” and “he was taking the **** out of my grandfather.”

Thomas said: “I just murdered somebody ha ha ha” and “I just murdered someone and laughed about it.”

Mr Evans said this attitude continued until they reached the police station where he gave a no comment interview.

Mr Male was found to have 18 stab wounds to his body, slash wounds to his ear which nearly cut it in half, wounds to his forehead and cheek and a broken nose.

Mr Evans said Mr Male had 414mg of alcohol in 100mm of blood which he said would have had a “significant effect” in his capability to defend himself.

Thomas had around 110mg of alcohol in 100mm of blood as well as signs that diazepam, amphetamines, methadone and cannabis had been taken.

Elizabeth Pearson, defending, said Thomas had been the one to raise the alarm and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

She said there was no premeditation and that it happened on the “spur of the moment”.

She said there was an opportunity for Thomas to make up events that had happened in Mr Male’s living room but that he has instead admitted what he did from the outset.

She said he is deeply sorry for what he did.

Ms Pearson said the comments in the police car were made by a young man in turmoil and shock.

The court was also told how Thomas had been affected by burns he suffered to his body and face after sniffing petrol at 13 which had set alight.

Ms Pearson said the scarring caused “significant trauma” and bullying and that he later had difficulties with alcohol and drugs.

The Recorder of Cardiff Eleri Rees QC said there had been a  “worrying picture” of alcohol and drug abuse which had had a “profound impact” on Thomas’ behaviour.

She sentenced Thomas to life and ordered that he serve a minimum of ten years and ten months behind bars before he can be considered for release.

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