A murderer has been jailed for life following the fatal stabbing of a man in Radcliffe.
Michael Steven Long aged 36 of no fixed address, has been found guilty of murder and attempted assault and sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to life in prison with a minimum sentence of 26 years.
Back in August last year 43-year old Keith Harris was stabbed in the chest at the Premier shop on Ainsworth Road in Radcliffe and later died from his injuries.
Keith was walking along Ainsworth Road with a friend- a man in his 50s- when Long approached the pair and asked them for a cigarette. Long followed the men and produced a purple kitchen knife before waving the weapon and jabbing it towards Harris’ friend and demanding that he hand over his valuables.
They took refuge in the Premier shop, but Long followed the men inside and began attacking them with the knife.
Keith Harris suffered a stab wound to the chest and was taken to hospital where his injuries proved fatal.
Long fled the scene and made his way home, before driving off in his silver Citroen C2.
Within minutes, he was involved in a collision with three other vehicles. He drove into the passenger side of a silver Audi A1 before colliding with a Toyota Aygo and then crashing head on with a black Kia Picanto. The driver of the Picanto suffered serious injuries.
Officers attended Long’s home address to make enquiries in relation to the collision, and upon realising he matched the description of Keith Harris’ attacker, Long was swiftly arrested.
He was found to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Senior Investigating Officer, Duncan Thorpe, said: “Keith Harris’ life was tragically cut short because of Long’s senseless and unprovoked actions.
“My thoughts are with Keith’s family who have been left devastated by his death and are still coming to terms with their loss.
“Whatever the sentence it will never bring him back, but I hope they find some comfort knowing that Long is now in prison for a very long time.”
Paying tribute to Keith, his family said: “We as a family are overwhelmed and thankful for all the support we have received following the murder of Keith.
“Keith was a loving son, Dad, brother and uncle.
“His smiling face will be missed by us all. This has left a huge hole in our hearts which will take a long time to heal.
“He will stay in our hearts and will be forever loved and forever cherished.