Dealer jailed for stabbing drug rival to death

Dominic Lacey (left) killed Joseph Pearce (right) in Burnham-on-Sea.

Dominic Lacey (left) killed Joseph Pearce (right) in Burnham-on-Sea. - Credit: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

A drug dealer has been jailed for more than eight years after stabbing a rival through the heart.

Dominic Lacey was sentenced this morning (Thursday) to prison after killing Joseph Pearce in a house in Burnham-on-Sea.

Lacey admitted one count of manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison at Exeter Crown Court.

The court was told the 22-year-old used a knife to stab Lacey in the heart following a disturbance at a home in Churchill Close on July 10 last year.

Lacey had been facing murder charges, but instead pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter at a hearing in January.

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At that initial hearing, one of the attending officers described the killing as ‘a horrific crime’.

Detective Chief Inspector James Riccio said: “Firstly, our thoughts remain with Joe’s family and friends.

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“It is hard to comprehend the loss they have endured.

“On the day of the incident a disagreement broke out between Joe and Lacey and during the ensuing fracas, Joe was stabbed once in the chest and tragically died at the scene.

“Lacey’s decision to use a knife during this incident resulted in catastrophic consequences and he will have to endure the punishment of his impulsive action.”

Mr Pearce’s family paid tribute to him after today’s sentencing.

They said: “Joe’s untimely death has left his whole family devastated.

“He was a much-loved son, father, brother, nephew and friend to so many people. No matter what the sentence is, it will never bring Joe back.

“We would like to thank the police and the CPS for their thorough investigation and also the homicide service and our family liaison officers for the support they have provided us over the past seven months.“

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