A man who stabbed a Wigan dad to death following a snooker row has been jailed for life.
Stephen Brocklehurst has been given a life sentence and is to serve a minimum of 12 years after stabbing 32-year-old Leigh dad-of-two Phillip Rooney to death in Platt Street, Leigh on February 23 2019.
Brocklehurst, of Billinge Road in Pemberton, had denied the offence but was found guilty by a majority verdict of 10-2.
At around 11.45pm on Saturday 23 February 2019, officers were called by the ambulance service to a report of a man who had been stabbed at a property on Platt Street.
When police attended, they discovered a man who had suffered a stab wound to his stomach.
Despite the best efforts of emergency service workers, the man – Mr Rooney - was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
The court heard how Brocklehurst, 49, had been staying as a lodger in Mr Rooney's home when he killed him following a disagreement over snooker.
Witnesses saw the pair arguing in the back garden of the pub, an row which continued until they reached Mr Rooney's house - where it ended in his murder.
Following the verdict, his family have released a family paying tribute to him.
They said: "Phil was taken from us in February in completely unnecessary circumstances.
"We cannot express how devastated we are that his life has been stolen, and for this to have happened at the hands of a man he had helped makes this particularly distressing for our family, particularly his children.
"Phil was caring, compassionate and had a great sense of humour. He was much loved by all who knew him.
"Today his killer has been sentenced, and justice has been served.
"We would urge anyone considering picking up a knife to stop, take a breath, and think of the lives you will ruin.
"We will try to repair our heartache although no matter how long the sentence is, it will not bring Phil back or make our loss any easier.
"We need to attempt to move on and hopefully today will now provide closure for our pain over the last eight months, however, we will never forget Phil or the many memories he has given us."
GMP Senior Investigating Officer Bob Tonge, added: "Today, Stephen Brocklehurst has been brought to justice for murdering Phil Rooney, a man who had provided him with a home to stay in after he had fallen on hard times.
"His actions after he fatally stabbed Phil showed that he had no regard for his victim or his family, his only concern was attempting to lie his way out of trouble.
"He didn’t even have the decency to plead guilty, and as a result he forced Mr Rooney’s loved ones to sit through a trial and relive what happened to Phil.
"Thankfully the jury saw through his act and he has now been given a life sentence. Although this result will not bring Phil back, I hope it will provide his loved ones with some comfort."