A man whose life was turned upside down after his sister murdered another sibling has been given a final chance to engage in a pre-sentence report at court.

Philip Metcalfe was due to be sentenced for a burglary and for cutting his electronically monitored tag off his leg.

However, Teesside Crown Court heard how his life was in turmoil after Marie Metcalfe, who had been in a long-running conflict with several members of her large family including her elder sister Laura, plunged a knife into her chest following a row.

The Hartlepool murder victim's brother was given a chance to engage with probation before sentence next month

Last month, Marie Metcalfe, 41, of Brougham Terrace, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to murder on the day her trial was due to start.

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Judge Howard Crowson sentenced Metcalfe to life imprisonment and told her she would serve at least 18 years in custody before being eligible for parole following the fatal stabbing on April 7 this year.

He said: “It is not entirely clear for how long you were in possession of the knife; it was not a small knife and you must have had it before you went to the shop.

"You had carried it through local streets and into the shop before the confrontation with Laura, you did carry it to the scene of this murder.

"You have a history of violence using weapons, including striking a woman to the head with a glass and striking a man to a hammer to the head.

The Northern Echo: Marie Metcalfe stabbed her sister, Laura, to death as a long-running family feud ended in fatal violence on Brougham Terrace, Hartlepool.Marie Metcalfe stabbed her sister, Laura, to death as a long-running family feud ended in fatal violence on Brougham Terrace, Hartlepool. (Image: Cleveland Police)

Today, Kelly Clarke, representing Metcalfe, urged the judge to give her client another chance to engage in the pre-sentence report process after his family tragedy.

“It had a huge impact on the family,” she said. “It somewhat explains the reason why he went off on this foolhardy path.

“He has had a lot of issues; he has had a lot to contend with over the last six months.

“He says at the time of committing this offence he was, in his own words, ‘I was very p***ed and didn’t know what I was doing’.”

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Metcalfe, of Willow Walk, Hartlepool, had earlier pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal and a breach of his bail conditions.

The 37-year-old admitted entering the house on Rugby Street, Hartlepool, on July 28 this year and to the breach on September 14.

Judge Timothy Stead adjourned the sentencing hearing until November 6 as he accepted his sister’s murder could have been ‘destabilised’ by events.

He added: “Everybody in the court has sympathy for you and your family for the tragedy that occurred.”