An alcoholic who stabbed his defenceless neighbour to death in a frenzied attack because he played music too loud has been jailed for at least 13 years.
Barry Cavan stabbed and slashed talented skateboarder and well-known busker David ‘Dee’ Corr dozens of times as he screamed and tried to defend himself.
Belfast Crown Court judge Mr Justice Weir told 25-year-old Cavan, from the New Lodge area of north Belfast, that while he had a dispute with his victim over the playing of loud music, that “cannot begin to explain, never mind justify, this brutal, senseless killing”.
Outside the court Mr Corr’s mother Noreen said: “I’m just glad it’s all over and I can get on with my life as best I can.”
The judge described the murder on March 15, 2012 as a “brutal, merciless, senseless killing”.
After killing 24-year-old Mr Corr, Cavan, who lived in the flat above his victim, called police and told the 999 operator he had killed his neighbour after stabbing him “30 or 40 times”.
Mr Corr suffered a total of 17 stab wounds and 22 incised wounds. While it was a stab wound to the chest which caused his death, many of the injuries were to his arms and hands “indicative of raised hands to protect his head or grasping the knife”.
When officers rushed to the bloody scene Cavan was lying face down prone on the hallway floor and confessed immediately.
“There’s nothing justifies it – I killed him. I went down with a knife with the intention of killing him. I didn’t think I would actually do it. I just lost it,” Cavan had told officers.
Mr Justice Weir had heard how Cavan had been complaining for three months about the volume his neighbour played his music at in the early hours of the morning.
Cavan, who appeared in the dock in a white T-shirt and blue jeans, had told a friend, known only as ‘S’, that he was thinking about stabbing his neighbour.
On the night of the murder itself Cavan, who had drank heavily that day, called into his neighbour’s flat around three hours before he launched his murderous attack and had the kitchen knife with him then.
The judge said Cavan had texted a friend to say: “I’m in his flat now, kitchen knife in pocket.”
‘S’ told him to get out and after Mr Corr told him he would use headphones to listen to music in future, Cavan left.
However, three hours later he was back in the flat below. Mr Justice Weir said the men were on the sofa when Cavan “began stabbing him and continued, despite his pleas and screams”.
The judge told Cavan: “He tried to grab you by the arms before he collapsed on to the floor, fatally wounded. He suffered a sustained, horrific attack from which you did not desist, even when he had fallen incapacitated to the floor.”