New Year Murder Man Jailed

A judge tells man he will spend at least 26 years in prison.

Raymond Iriogbe, 49, of Carlton Road, Nottingham, (pictured) has been found guilty of murder following a trial at Nottingham Crown Court, and sentenced to serve a minimum of 26 years.

He stabbed Felix Akhigbe, 35, of Beauvale Road, the Meadows, in the early hours of 1 January this year.

The court heard that Iriogbe was waiting for Mr Akhigbe when he left his job as a toilet attendant at Foxy's nightclub in Upper Parliament Street at around 1.30am.

CCTV footage showed Iriogbe stalking his victim through the town centre to Lower Parliament Street, where the men became involved in a discussion.

Mr Akhigbe fled but Iriogbe chased after him and stabbed him with a knife three times outside Bon Marche clothing store.

He was taken to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham but died within the hour as a result of the stab wounds.

Iriogbe was arrested at the scene and the murder weapon, as well as another knife, was recovered from him. He denied murder, claiming he had acted in self defence.

The court heard that Iriogbe and Mr Akhigbe - who were both originally from Nigeria - had been friends and had previously lived and worked together.

Their friendship had soured and by the end of 2010, Mr Akhigbe feared for his life after receiving a death threat from Iriogbe.

Mr Akhigbe had a son Daniel, 2, with his partner Susan Akhigbe, 34. She was pregnant with their second son Joshua - now sixth months old - at the time of his death.

Miss Akhigbe said: "Our lives were devastated the night Felix was taken so suddenly away from us.

"Joshua will never know his father and he won't be able to experience first-hand the kind and caring person he was.

"It has been extremely difficult since Felix died and I miss him every day but I am trying to remain positive for the sake of my sons. 

"I am glad that we have finally secured justice for Felix and his attacker is now in prison where he belongs."

Mr Akhigbe, who also worked as a packer in Boots in Beeston, was educated in his native Nigeria and achieved a bachelor's degree in accounting there. He was hoping to study for a master's degree in the UK at the time of his death.

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Meynell, who led the inquiry, said: "Raymond Iriogbe went out armed that night intent on either killing Felix or causing him significant harm.

"He blamed Felix for a number of things that had gone wrong in his life and decided to take things into his own hands.

"This was not self defence - it was a deliberate, violent act that brutally ended a man's life.

"His violent actions cruelly robbed two young boys of a father and today's sentence reflects the severity of his crimes.