A drug dealer who killed his customer in a rage over the quality of the drugs he was selling has been jailed for 10-and-a-half years.

Lewis Brown, 20, fatally stabbed customer Lee Butler in the chest in a park off Bayswater Road, Barton, on October 8 last year.

He was in the park to sell Mr Butler and his friend, Donna Osbourne, crack cocaine – the pair having earlier made it clear they did not want any of the ‘s***’ heroin being sold by the Bob drugs line.

Eyewitness Ms Osbourne said Brown pulled out a knife having accused Mr Butler of ‘cussing man’s ting’ then threatened to ‘juck’ – or stab – the older man.

READ MORE: Live updates from Barton killer's sentencing hearing

Brown, who had no previous convictions but by his own admission had been dealing hard drugs on-and-off from the age of 14, was cleared of murder on Thursday after a four week trial at Oxford Crown Court.

But the jury convicted him of Mr Butler’s manslaughter and possession of a bladed article – rejecting his claims that he’d acted in self-defence after the older man tried to rob him and that he’d been forced to deal drugs and carry the knife by the shadowy gangster in charge of the 'Bob' drug line who he named only as ‘Jake’.

Sentencing the flame-haired killer on Tuesday morning, Judge Ian Pringle QC said he found ‘as a matter of fact’ that Brown had been angered by the suggestion that the heroin he was selling ‘may have been a bad lot’.

“I further find as a fact that Donna Osbourne had to on a number of occasions before the deal was done stop you taking your knife out, with you saying to Lee Butler ‘I should juck you’ meaning stab you,” he added.

“You, Lewis Brown, and your actions were the sole cause of Lee Butler’s death that day.”

The judge told Brown that he believed ‘Jake’ was a ‘deliberate invention’, conjured up in order to justify his carrying the knife on the day of Mr Butler’s death. He said Brown had habitually carried the weapon.

He acknowledged that the defendant had no formal previous convictions, but could not be treated as a man of previous good character because of his admitted drug dealing and the fact he had two cautions on his record.

He recognised that Brown suffered from autism and ADHD.

The defendant’s counsel, Frida Hussain QC, told the judge on Tuesday morning that her client was vulnerable and his mother had raised concerns with the authorities when he was still in his teens that he was being exploited.

Brown, of Barton Village Road, Oxford, spoke only to confirm his name when he appeared in the dock on Tuesday morning dressed in a black and white Nike tracksuit.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on news@nqo.com or 01865 425 445.