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Cousin gets life at Old Bailey for murder of Liam Hamilton in Poplar

PUBLISHED: 14:37 18 February 2014 | UPDATED: 14:37 18 February 2014

Victim... Liam Hamilton

Victim... Liam Hamilton

Met Pol

A man has been jailed for the murder of his cousin following a family dispute that escalated from a petty squabble between two eight-year-old girls.

Tributes to Liam Hamilton where he was stabbed [Picture: @bigboroboy/Twitter]Tributes to Liam Hamilton where he was stabbed [Picture: @bigboroboy/Twitter]

Liam Hamilton, 32, was fatally stabbed in the back with a large kitchen knife outside his home at Plimsoll Close, off Poplar High Street, last summer.

His cousin Paul Hamilton, 30, from nearby Woodstock Terrace, was found guilty at the Old Bailey last Thursday and sentenced to life with a minimum of 26 years for the murder on July 26.

Two flights broke out the same day between two women in the family, detectives revealed. The dispute escalated further that night, leading to Liam’s fatal stabbing.

Det Sgt Martin Head, from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said after the trial: “What started out as a seemingly minor family squabble escalated into a senseless murder that will have a long-lasting impact on the Hamilton family.

“This is a tragedy for all involved and it’s right that Paul Hamilton should be behind bars for his actions.”

As news of the murder broke, hundreds of floral tributes were left at the spot in Poplar High Street where Liam, known as Leo, had been attacked.

His brother Gerald described him at the time as a “fun-loving guy who lived life to the full”.

Their dad, Gerald Snr, described the self-employed painter and decorator as “a kind, caring and loving son” and a loving sibling to his four sisters and five brothers.

Nearby flower shops sold out within hours of the killing as well-wishers flocked to pay their respects, leaving Liverpool FC shirts and Ireland scarves at the scene.

Leo died at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel 90 minutes after he was attacked.

Two of Paul Hamilton’s brothers – Thomas, 36, from Poplar High Street, and Noel, 35, from Manchester Road, Millwall – were acquitted of murder or violent disorder. A fourth brother, James, 27, from New Festival Avenue, Poplar, was acquitted of violent disorder. All four brothers claimed they acted in self-defence.

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