A KILLER who accidentally recorded himself confessing to a fatal drugs feud stabbing has been jailed. 

Dominic Lacey killed a rival drug dealer with a single stab wound to the heart after being attacked as he prepared a batch of drugs for sale at his girlfriend's flat in Burnham-on-Sea. 

He fled from the scene in a friend's car without realising that a mobile phone which had been used to call an ambulance was still connected and recording everything he said. 

Lacey could be heard sobbing and saying he would be done for murder as he made his getaway just seconds before police arrived at the scene. 

He was begging his friend to get him away and the two men drove to a taxi office in Weston-super-Mare, from where Lacey took a cab to his home in Patchway, Bristol. 

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

Joe Pearce

Lacey killed 40-year-old Joe Pearce with a single 12 centimetre deep knife wound to the heart. He stabbed him with a knife he had been using to make wraps for £10 street deals of heroin and crack. 

He had been using the knife to cut up carrier bags when Pearce and two other men forced their way into the flat to rob him. 

Lacey had just returned from a trip to Bristol to buy drugs in bulk and was targeted by Pearce because the two men were trying to sell heroin and crack to the same small group of users in Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge.

He delivered the fatal wound to 40-year-old Pearce and then beat off the other two attackers with a baseball bat. 

Lacey, aged 22, of Newham Place, Patchway, admitted the manslaughter and was jailed for eight years and nine months by Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, at Exeter Crown Court. 

He told him: "I am not sentencing you for drug supply but this offence of manslaughter is inseparably linked with the drugs world in which you involved yourself. 

"I accept you did not intend to kill or cause serious injury and there was a significant element of self-defence. To stab somebody in the chest as you did went beyond reasonable self defence - well beyond.

 "The 999 call recording makes it clear that in the immediate aftermath of what happened you were distraught." 

Miss Kate Brunner, QC, defending, said the killing happened at a flat in Churchill Close, Burnham-on-Sea, just before midnight on July 9, 2017. 

She said Pearce was one of a group of three men who went to the house armed with at least one knife with robbery or violence in mind. 

One of the others at the house called the ambulance service and did not realise the call was continuing and being recorded as he left with Lacey, who could be heard sobbing uncontrollably as they drove away. 

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

A police cordon after the killing in Churchill Close

Miss Brunner said: "There is a recording of a 999 call in which the defendant can be heard sobbing and can be heard talking about stabbing and killing Joe Pearce and saying 'why did he do it to me?'. 

"He said those words when he was not aware of the recording." 

Mr Richard Smith, QC, said the recording demonstrated that Lacey had been remorseful from the outset. He knew Pearce as a friend and still believes he was pressured into taking part on the attack on the flat by the others. 

He said: "The decisions he took were wrong but were made in the heat of the moment when he was in fear of what these people intended to do to him. He had not expected confrontation, which happened on him in what must have been seconds."

Detective Chief Inspector James Riccio said: “Firstly, our thoughts remain with Joe’s family and friends. It is hard to comprehend the loss they have endured.

“On the day of the incident a disagreement broke out between Joe and Dominic 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 suffer the consequences of his impulsive action.”

In a statement, Joe’s family 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.“