A drug dealer from Thornton Heath found guilty of murdering a man who was stabbed to death in a flat in Norfolk has been given a life sentence, and will serve a minimum of 20 years in jail

Steve Stannard, 37, died of multiple stab wounds at his flat at Bowers Avenue, Norwich, on 5 November last year.

Hassiem Baqir, 20, of Howberry Road, Thornton Heath  had denied his murder but had admitted dealing drugs from Mr Stannard’s home.

The jury at Norwich Crown Court took 15 hours to find Baqir guilty. He will be sentenced tomorrow (Fri).

The court had earlier heard how Mr Stannard was stabbed twice in the back and three times in the front. The wounds perforated his lung and his heart.

His dog, a border collie called Trixy, was also stabbed.

The court heard how Baqir had travelled from London to Norwich to deal drugs from the victim’s address.

Mr Stannard  was described to the court as a Class A drug user with a chaotic lifestyle who had become involved in facilitating the dealing of drugs from his address.

The court heard that another user went to the property and saw Baqir with the knife. When she asked why he had it, he replied: “It’s not a game, it’s just in case.”

Baqir told the court he carried a knife as a drug runner to look “sinister” but was not prepared to use it as he was “not a violent person”.

Veron Antonio, 24, of Green Lane, Morden, was found guilty of supplying drugs but not guilty of assisting an offender.

Superintendent Dave Marshall of Norfolk police, said: ““Urban criminal gangs often use violence as a fear tactic to exploit vulnerable young people and force them to carry out their work. As we can see in this case it came with the ultimate cost – someone’s life.

“Norfolk police are continuing to work with partner agencies to identify those who may be vulnerable to this kind of activity and prevent them from becoming involved in the cycle of drug crime. We have so far made 171 arrests and seized thousands of pounds worth of cash and drugs.

“We remain dedicated to disrupting drug activity in Norfolk in order to prevent tragedies like this being repeated.”