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Family pay tribute to man stabbed in chest and left to die as killer is jailed

Matthew McKenzie's family say "there is no sentence long enough for what has happened." Photo: GMP

The family of a man who was stabbed in the chest and left to die have paid tribute to him as his killer was jailed for more than 25 years.

Matthew is still dearly loved and sadly missed by all his family and friends, especially his mum Kathryn, his two younger brothers Anthony and Jordan, his sister-in-law Carly, his grandparents Maureen and Alan, aunts and uncles Sharon, Janette, John and their respective partners, cousins Damien, Terri, Eve and Riley and most of all by his baby niece Brooklyn who will never have the pleasure of knowing her uncles Matthew except through photographs.

Matthew’s life was tragically taken in January, a victim of an unnecessary knife crime.

Today, justice has been done. However, as far as we are concerned there is no sentence long enough for what has happened.

Matthew is still gone from this life and the heartache and hurt will remain with us forever.

– Family of Matthew McKenzie

James Hurst, 29, from Oldham, has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for the murder in January. He was also found guilty of possessing a knife.

The two men had spent the day together in Heywood on January 12. They visited friends in the afternoon before walking to Promenade Street at around 8pm.

It was then Hurst stabbed Matthew in the chest.

A post-mortem found Matthew also suffered cuts to his arm and hands which detectives believe are defence wounds. Hurst left him lying on the floor of an alleyway.

His body was found by a passerby more than three hours later.

James Hurst will serve at least 26 years in prison. Credit: GMP

After the killing, Hurst returned to the house on Barley Hall Street before he got a taxi to an address in Oldham.

He handed himself into police in Bury two days later.

There is no question that this was a cold blooded murder but Hurst put this family though even more agony by denying it.

Matthew’s loved ones have had to endure listening to the awful details of this case, re-living that horrific day.

I hope they can now begin to move forward with their lives, although I know nothing will replace losing Matthew.

– Bob Tonge, Greater Manchester Police