A MURDERER who stabbed a “defenceless” man to death as he slept has been told he will spend at least 28 years behind bars.

Jurors earlier today found Ben Harvey, of Ridges View, Little London, guilty of murder after the 22-year-old denied killing William Rudiak at a house in Turin Court on June 11 last year.

This afternoon at Winchester Crown Court, Harvey was sentenced to life imprisonment and was told he must serve 28 years as a minimum.

Jurors did not accept Harvey’s version of events that he had been in a psychotic state with little memory of entering the Turin Court house at 2.57am through an open window, armed with a knife that he took from his parents’ home.

Harvey stabbed Mr Rudiak, a garage manager, as he slept with his girlfriend Alexandra Taylor, before he fled the scene, leaving the knife in the bedroom.

Mr Rudiak suffered catastrophic blood loss from the 16cm-deep wound and a "a short period of intense pain and fear", before he was pronounced dead at the scene.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Rudiak’s father, Martyn, said: “William was an ambitious, adventurous, thrill-seeking young man.

“For me William’s death has had a significant impact on my life and work. I am constantly having to face the facts of William’s murder meaning I can’t move on.”

Martyn Rudiak said that his wife Nicola and daughter Francesca have vivid and recurring dreams about William, with son Matthew worrying about family members.

He added: “Everyone has moved on since William’s death, but we are all still feeling it and living with it every day. I worry if anything will feel normal again.

“This tragic death has left a huge hole in all our lives.”

Mr Rudiak’s girlfriend, Alexandra Taylor, who was bit on the cheek during the same attack on the 26-year-old, told the court in an emotional speech that she still recalls the face that William made as he “took his last breath” and the "smell of the blood".

She said: "I am unable to smile since William's death. I light a candle in his memory but the light doesn't come close to his smile and warmth.

“You never knew how amazing he was in person, you have taken his life.”

Ms Taylor said that she has had to move out the house in Turin Court, has night terrors and suffers “deep depression”.

On the same night as the attack on Mr Rudiak, Harvey then drove to another address in a village close to Andover where he tried to sexually assault a teenage girl.

In court the teenage girl addressed Harvey to ask him why he had picked her home and why he had chosen her to attack.

She said: "You attacked me and I thought you were going to rape me, you ran off leaving me to face the consequences, one of which was not feeling safe in my own home."

The jury also found Harvey guilty of one count of causing actual bodily harm (ABH) to Ms Taylor and trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence regarding the incident with the teenage girl on the same night.

For the ABH offence, Harvey received two-and-a-half years in prison and for the sexual offence he was given eight years, both to run concurrently.

Mr Justice Ed Pepperall said: “This was an entirely unprovoked murder. It is difficult, and ultimately unnecessary, to seek to understand your motive. There is, however, a strong possibility that you were searching for more drugs.”