A MAN found guilty of murdering a Bournemouth father has been sentenced to life behind bars.
Stephen Gibbs, 34, was yesterday convicted of battering Rodger Tett to death last year after a drink-fuelled row.
Mr Tett, his fiancée Kim Trevillion, the defendant and his mother Annette had spent the afternoon together on September 7 drinking in the warm weather.
Gibbs, an alcoholic who had been abstinent for around two months prior to the day of the murder, drank almost a pint of vodka and four beers, and then called a drug dealer to the couple's home in Luckham Road.
He snorted up to three lines of cocaine off the dining room table before Mr Tett – who hated drugs – punched him twice in anger.
Gibbs then lashed out at his victim, who fell to the ground, before stamping twice on his head.
Mr Tett died at Southampton General Hospital on September 9.
Just an hour-and-a-half later, Gibbs was captured at a local convenience store on CCTV buying a scratch card and more vodka.
His own mother testified against him during his trial at Winchester Crown Court.
Michael Vere-Hodge QC, mitigating, said the defendant had a “disastrous background” and a life with “few advantages save for those he found for himself”.
Sentencing, Judge Nigel Teare said: “Rodger Tett objected to a drug dealer coming to the house and wanted you out.
“He punched you twice in the face. You reacted by punching him, causing him to fall to the floor. There was evidence that when he was on the ground, you stamped on his head.”
He said the jury had rejected his claim of self-defence with their verdict, but added that the case had a number of mitigating factors, including that the murder was not premeditated.
Gibbs, of Maxwell Road in Winton, will serve a minimum of 12 years before he is considered for parole.
He had pleaded not guilty to the single charge of murder, but was unanimously convicted by a jury.
Detective Sergeant Trevor Hawkins, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Team, said: “This is sadly another case whereby a tragic and unnecessary death has been caused by extreme violence fuelled by alcohol and drugs.
“I commend the initial action by police at the scene and their efforts to locate and arrest Gibbs so promptly, thereby preserving vital forensic evidence.
“I also commend the co-operation of witnesses in very difficult circumstances.
“I can only hope that the conviction of Gibbs can bring some degree of comfort and closure to the family and partner of Rodger Tett.”
Rodger was a "bright shining light"
Paying tribute to Mr Tett, his family released a statement that read: “Rodger was a loving father, son, brother and uncle who we will miss every day.
“He was a bright shining light taken away too early in life for doing the right thing.
“Roger hated drugs and what they did to people and he paid for this with his life.
“We are so proud of you Rodger.”