AN asylum-seeker has been found guilty of murdering a fellow immigrant following a drinking session at their home.
Dawit Asmelash, 31, will be sentenced at Teesside Crown tomorrow morning when a minimum tariff for his life term will be set.
Asmelash, of Palm Street, Middlesbrough, had denied murdering Haileeb Tadesse, 35, and faced a trial which lasted two weeks.
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He initially said he had not been at their shared flat, but then claimed he had been acting in self-defence when he stabbed his friend.
A jury heard that after the killing, Asmelash suggested to a witness that they should say Mr Tadesse had committed suicide.
The jury of seven men and five women took a little over an hour to find him guilty of murder this afternoon.
Prosecutor Andrew Robertson, QC, told the court at the start of the trial that Asmelash had been acting “in drunken anger”.
He told the jury: "Even if he was acting in self defence the force he used could in no way be described as reasonable."
During the trial, Asmelash also claimed the partial defence to murder of 'loss of control' and said the victim insulted and punched him.
Mr Tadesse was found in the lounge of the flat with the blade of a nine-inch knife piercing his heart on April 4 last year.
The handle of the knife – which had been used to stab him in the back and chest – was later found in a nearby yard.
Asmelash and the victim, both from the Eritrea and Ethiopia border area of North-East Africa, had been drinking in the flat.
Mr Robertson said: "Police collated evidence that proved only he could be responsible for the stabbing.”