Aaron Ray guilty of murder after stabbing Newcastle student Jason Brockbanks

Aaron Ray has been found guilty of murder. Credit: Northumbria Police

A man accused of killing his boyfriend over Grindr messages has been found guilty of murder.

Aaron Ray, from Sunderland, had denied the murder of 24-year-old Jason Brockbanks, who was a third year Northumbria University student from Whitehaven, Cumbria.

He has been found guilty by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Jurors had been told Ray had stabbed Mr Brockbanks after finding sexual messages with other men on his phone.

The couple had been on a night out in Newcastle before the incident.

Jason Brockbanks, 24, was found dead at his student accommodation last September. Credit: NCJ Media

Mr Brockbanks' body was discovered in his shower in his private student accommodation Mansion Tyne halls, Howard Street, Newcastle, three days after he was killed by Ray last September.

He had been stabbed in the side.

Ray, 21, of Mayfield Road, Sunderland, had told the court he had "lashed out" at Mr Brockbanks after being attacked by him.

Ray is due to be sentenced on Thursday 23 March.

Following the conclusion of the trial, Mr Brockbank’s family paid tribute to him.

In a statement they said: “We would like to thank the police for all their assistance and support throughout this matter and the prosecution barrister and their team.

“We would also like to thank the jury for making the correct decision. 

“We would like to thank Jason’s friends and the Mansion Tyne staff for their support throughout the trial. 

“We miss our beloved son dearly and we are thankful we have justice for Jason.”

The senior investigating officers in the case, Detective Inspector Tomasz Fowler of Northumbria Police, said: “First and foremost I would like to pay tribute to Jason’s family fo the strength and courage they have shown throughout the legal process.

“Their lives have been devastated by his death and we once again express our condolences to them.

“We sincerely hope that today’s conviction provides a degree of closure.”

DI Fowler added: “Aaron Ray showed no regard for Jason’s life and has deservedly been convicted of his murder.

“On the night he killed Jason, he disposed of the murder weapon and fled the scene, failing to notify the emergency services that Jason had been seriously injured. If he had raised the alarm and called 999, Jason could still be alive today.

“Jason had been enjoying living in the North East after moving to the region and had his whole life ahead of him. 

“We thank the jury for seeing through his lies and providing justice for Jason’s family and friends.”

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