A DRUG dealer who killed a rival after he was robbed has been jailed for life.

Zandrae Smith was sentenced after he stabbed Tommy Ferris four times in an alleyway off Smannell Road, in Andover, in the early hours of April 13 this year.

Today (November 2) after 14 hours and eight minutes of deliberation a jury at Winchester Crown Court found the 21-year-old guilty of murder.

Throughout the trial which started on October 22 Smith, of Octavia Court, Bradford, maintained that he used self-defence in a clash with Mr Ferris.

But the court heard that Mr Ferris had wounds ranging from 7cm to 18.5cm deep, and the 28-year-old Londoner died from his injuries.

The prosecution argued the actions were taken out of revenge, to get back at the rival dealer who had just robbed Smith of his belongings.

The jury made up of five men and seven women came to a majority verdict of 10 to two.

A victim impact statement from Mr Ferris’s partner, Sunny Sheppard, was read aloud to the court, and expressed the heartbreak of losing her teenage sweetheart for her and their five-year-old daughter, Miley.

In sentencing Smith, Judge Keith Cutler QC said: “The pain and loss suffered by the family is immense, your actions took from them and from their family, a popular, loving man, father, son and brother.

"You came from Bermuda with the intent of making your life better and doing your education, inevitably there were financial pressures and you took a wrong decision.

“You agreed to get involved with the supply of drugs for money.

“Rather than walk away you reacted and it was clear in the jury’s verdict and the facts of this case your reaction was one of anger, an act of revenge you had been humiliated and you wanted to strike back.”

Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment, ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years.

Judge Cutler added: “One hopes the message will still get out not only a message from preventing people dealing in drugs but message please never have a knife in a public place.

“People who take knives on the outside say they are for protection then find themselves using them not for protection but for assault and violence.”

Hampshire Constabulary’s officer in charge of the case Detective Sergeant Chris Bradford said investigations into drug networks in Andover are ongoing and if people give police information they will act on it.

He added: “There are no winners when two people carry knives.

“In an alley one of them has died and another has been sentenced to 22 years for life.

“The message needs to go out please don’t carry knives, two families have both just lost their sons.”