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Murderer to serve at least 16 years
MURDERER Andrew Lambert has been told he will serve at least 16 years behind bars for "the most brutal, frenzied and prolonged attack" on his friend Ryan Cronin.
Lambert was convicted of murdering Mr Cronin by a Reading Crown Court jury on Monday.
The court was told how 40-year-old Lambert, of Woodlands Road, Hemel Hempstead, stabbed his friend 39 times with a pair of scissors at his flat in Quarrendon Road, Amersham, on August 3.
Today he was jailed for life and told he must serve a minimum of 16 years in prison before he can be considered for parole.
The court heard that diabetic Lambert was suffering from hypoglycaemia - abnormally low blood sugar levels - at the time of the attack, which he claimed affecting his mental state.
But jurors did not believe his story and unanimously convicted him of murder after deliberating for just over three and a half hours.
Jurors had been told Lambert, who suffers from ADHD and personality disorders as well as alcohol and drug addicitions, had two motives for attacking 41-year-old Mr Cronin, who was described in court as a drug dealer.
The court heard how the pair's entire relationship revolved around drugs and Lambert believed Mr Cronin was responsible for the death of another man, Shaun Elliott, at his flat due to a methadone overdose.
On another occasion Lambert, who has 28 previous convictions for 118 offences, came round from a blackout at Mr Cronin's flat to discover his victim-to-be had stuck a syringe containing heroin into him.
Judge John Reddihough told Lambert the murder was carried out in revenge for those two incidents.
He said: "You carried out the most brutal, frenzied and prolonged attack on the deceased, which you carried out with the intention to kill him.
"Having carried out that attack you left the deceased lying in the hallway of his flat until he was discovered dead nearly two days later by his friend.
"Meanwhile, you took steps to destroy evidence which would connect you with the killing.
"I have no doubt a reason you went to Ryan Cronin's flat on that night was to confront him about the death of Shaun Elliott. You then carried out the fatal attack upon Ryan Cronin which clearly, in my judgement, had an element of revenge or retribution about it.
"Whatever your views about the deceased, you took his life in the most violent manner, stabbing him nearly 40 times with a pair of scissors. His physical and mental suffering at the time must have been extreme, as witnessed by the dreadful screaming heard from him."
The judge added that although Lambert's personality disorders had a bearing on the attack, they did not excuse them.
He also noted Lambert had shown "genuine remorse" for the killing in a letter that was handed to the judge just prior to sentencing.
In police interviews Lambert initially denied having any memory of the attack, but less than a week before his trial was due to start he revealed key details to a forensic psychiatrist that he had not told police.