AT his trial for murder in September, 2004, teenager Darren Moffat’s defence counsel described his upbringing as “miserable.”

The word hardly did justice to the reality, because Birmingham Crown Court heard the Moffat home in Bewdley Lane, Evesham was hotbed of alcohol and drug abuse and even as a 15-month-old baby, Darren had been plied with booze.

So maybe it was no wonder at the age of 19 he stood in the dock accused of killing a man. 

The circumstances of the crime on the night of Monday, February 9 that year were fairly simple.

Four people had gathered in a house to drink themselves into a stupor and one of them died there after being stabbed nearly 40 times. Even so police faced considerable problems. 

Det Insp Jerry Reakes-Williams, who led the investigation, said afterwards: “ There were very, very difficult circumstances in terms of establishing exactly what happened and why.

“Clearly the four people present had drunk a lot of alcohol. In a sense it was a straightforward event in a house and we knew exactly who was there.

“The tricky aspect was finding out why it happened because of the reliability of those present.

“It was a brutal and frenzied attack on what was really a defenceless man. It was an attack by a man who had clearly lost control.”

 The victim was 47-years-old Alan Jacewicz of Mill Street, Evesham.

On the afternoon of February 9, he had gone with his girlfriend Lesley Baylis to the visit the home of Michael Moffat and his son Darren. 

Miss Bayliss told the court that she and “Jake” – as Alan Jacewicz was known – arrived at the Moffat’s council house at around 4.30 in the afternoon to drink with Michael Moffat.

Later Darren returned home and the four took part in a drinking session before she accompanied Darren to buy some more alcohol at around 11pm.

When they returned home she saw Jake on the sofa, naked, but partly covered with a duvet and was told he had wet himself. “Jake was out of it. Comatose,” she added.

 Miss Bayliss said the four of them were sitting down when suddenly Darren Moffat straddled her boyfriend, pulled out a knife and started stabbing him.

“His dad got up, but Darren pushed him down,” she added. “He was saying ‘Where shall I put the knife next.’ He stabbed Jake two more times and then Jake had his eyes wide open. He was dead.”

However defence counsel Paul Dunkels claimed Miss Bayliss had a selective memory of the fatal night.

He said: “I suggest this stabbing didn’t occur simply out of thin air. There had been a blazing row.

“Jake was accusing Darren of having slept with you. He said: ‘You have been s****ing my missus. I will kill you.’ ”

 Alan Jacewicz received at least 36 stab wounds in the frenzied attack.

They were to his face, neck, chest, back and arms and he had 15 other scratches, bruises  and abrasions.

His throat had been cut and one wound went from his ear to his mouth.

When police arrived at the house they found Darren Moffat naked from the waist up and in “an agitated and excitable state.” His hands were covered in blood.

His victim was still alive at that point, but although being rushed to the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Redditch, he died soon after.

Moffat claimed to police that Jake had repeatedly accused him of having sex with his girlfriend and threatened to kill him.

“I was at the end of my tether,” he added. “ I had the knife in my right hand and told him to shut up.

“He ignored me, told me to f*** off and pushed me in the chest.

“I thought he was going to have a go at me. There was a struggle and I stabbed him repeatedly.

“I don’t know how many times I stabbed him. I was shocked. I am devastated by what I have done.”

Moffat originally pleaded not guilty to murder when he appeared before Judge John Saunders at Birmingham Crown Court, but in a surprise move changed his plea to guilty on the third day of the trial.

In mitigation Mr Dunkels said his client had suffered “a miserable upbringing”, adding: “When the defendant was about 15 months old there was a strong, and it would seem very reliable impression among social services that he was being given alcohol at night.

His grandmother died some months before this offence was committed and it left the defendant immersed in a house awash with drugs and alcohol on a daily basis.” 

Mr  Dunkels said that since being in custody on remand, Moffat had “thrown himself into education” and passed his first exam after leaving school with no GCSEs.

Darren Moffat was jailed for life for the killing of Alan Jacewicz with Judge Saunders setting a minimum term of nine and a half years before he could be considered for parole. He commended Moffat “for accepting responsibility at a very early stage for the killing of Mr Jacewicz” and added: “I am aware nine and a half years is a long time in custody but I hope over that period you will learn lessons which will cause you to lead a law-abiding life in the future.”