'Evil' teen who stabbed ex's father to death jailed for 17 years

‘Evil’ teen thug who stabbed ex-girlfriend’s father to death as he tried to protect her is jailed for 17 years and rolls eyes in court as family describe utter devastation

  • Levi Westhead, 18, stabbed Mark Webster, 50, 12 times outside Blackpool home
  • Mr Webster had been protecting his daughter from ‘obsessive’, armed Westhead 
  • Westhead was found guilty of murder at Preston Crown Court on January 28

An ‘evil’ teenager who brutally stabbed a ‘heroic’ father to death as he tried to protect his teenage daughter has been jailed for 17 years.

Levi Westhead, 18, knifed Mark Webster, 50, a total of 12 times after he went to the family home in Blackpool and demanded to see his 16-year-old daughter.

The thug rolled his eyes during sentencing at Preston Crown Court today when Mr Webster’s family detailed their utter devastation in their victim impact statements.

‘Obsessed’ Westhead had been in a rocky relationship with the girl for about 18 months – bombarding her with abusive text messages and telling her to kill herself.

At trial, the court heard how he sent her up to 300 messages and phone calls per day and created fake social media profiles in a bid to reach her.  

On the evening of July 23, 2021, he armed himself with a kitchen knife and then tried to force his way into her house with the intention of physically threatening her.

Levi Westhead, 18, knifed Mark Webster, 50, a total of 12 times after he went to the family home in Blackpool and demanded to see his 16-year-old daughter.

Mr Webster (pictured) known as Web, was praised as ‘a true man and a true hero’, who tried to protect his daughter from an ‘evil, controlling, harassing’ boy

Moment Westhead is pushed to the ground by police as he is arrested in a neighbouring garden after stabbing Mr Webster to death

Westhead (pictured being cuffed on day of murder) claimed he had acted in self-defence, but a jury remained unconvinced and found him guilty of murder on January 28 this year. 

But her father refused to let him in the front door.

Westhead then made his way around to the back of the property, where he scuffled with Mr Webster on the patio and stabbed him multiple times in the chest and abdomen, the court heard.

He was arrested a short time after the attack when he was found hiding in a neighbouring garden.  

He claimed he had acted in self-defence, but a jury remained unconvinced and found him guilty of murder on January 28 this year.

At his sentencing at Preston Crown Court today, Mr Webster, known as Web, was praised as ‘a true man and a true hero’, who tried to protect his daughter from an ‘evil, controlling, harassing’ boy.

Westhead, dressed in a red polo shirt, sighed and rolled his eyes as victim statements from Mr Webster’s heartbroken wife Michelle, his daughter, and his 12-year-old son were read.

Michelle said: ‘I knew Web when I was 15, and we started going out when we’re were 16 – childhood sweethearts.

‘He was my first and only love. Words cannot begun to describe how heartbroken and devastated I am. We did everything together.

‘We doted on each other. He was the love of my life. We had been together 31 years. He was the most placid, funny, loving gentleman.

‘That night my Web was taken away was a night I will never forget, and one I will relive on a daily basis.

‘Web tried to protect his family and that’s what he did, and ultimately paid with his life.

On the evening of July 23, 2021, Westhead armed himself with a kitchen knife (pictured) and then tried to force his way into Mr Webster’s house with the intention of physically threatening his daughter 

‘Levi has taken away our world in such a senseless way.

‘Our hopes and dreams have been completely destroyed and despite my best efforts I cannot imagine any future without (Mark) in our lives.

‘This has completely destroyed me, my family, and all our lives.

‘Web was the rock of the family, the heart and soul, and he paid the ultimate price to protect his family. A true man and a true hero.’

His daughter described Westhead as ‘an evil, controlling, harassing boy’, who had abused her during their 18 months together.

She said: ‘I’m not comfortable going out anymore. Any little noise I hear, I’m frightened. If I see someone who looks like [Westhead], I freeze.

‘I have terrible nightmares of Levi killing me and killing my dad, and it’s very upsetting.

‘My mum struggles to even go out now. We stay in most of the time. I don’t even like being there any more. I don’t feel safe.’

Mr Webster’s son said: ‘I really miss my dad. I’m really upset and angry and I have suicidal thoughts.

‘My dad didn’t deserve this. He’s a hero and he will not see me grow up and will not be here for memories to come. I miss just spending time with him. I love my dad.’

In mitigation, the court heard that Westhead was ‘immature’ for his age and did not intend to kill Mr Webster when he went to the family’s home that day.

Andrew Thomas, defending, said: ‘It’s clear to see that cases like this are a tragedy, but this one truly is a tragedy for all concerned and families on both sides.

‘He’s not asking for forgiveness, but he’s genuinely sorry for what he has done. He will be sorry for the rest of his life.

‘Mark Webster was blameless. More than that, Mark Webster was a brave man who acted in order to protect his family from the attack that he perceived was about to take place.

‘Mark was a good man and a good husband and a very loving father.

‘We know that (his family) are heartbroken and that nothing that I can say, or anyone can do, can repair the damage of Westhead’s offence.’

Handing down a life sentence with a minimum of 17 years, Judge Medland said: ‘This was an appallingly sad event which should never have happened.

At trial, the court heard how Westhead sent her up to 300 messages and phone calls per day and created fake social media profiles in a bid to reach her.

‘Mark Webster’s murder has robbed his immediate family of their father figure, and principal breadwinner.

‘He was a much-loved and very caring man for whom nothing seemed too much trouble.

‘He was a hard-working and sensible man, ‘an extra special human being’ ‘a placid gentleman’ ‘loved by so many people’ ‘gentle’, ‘lovable’, ‘a true man’ and a ‘true hero’ who had established for his family a decent living and a decent way of life.

‘He died protecting them.

‘The loss suffered by Michelle Webster and her family is irreparable. The reality is that no sentence any court could ever impose could equal the value of Mark Webster’s life.

‘To respectfully adopt Michelle Webster’s own phrase: ‘no sentence could ever be enough’.

‘Therefore I do not endeavour today to attempt that impossible feat. Rather, I endeavour to impose a sentence which is proper in this particular case on these particular facts.’

Det Chief Insp Jane Webb from Lancashire Police’s Force Major Investigation team said: ‘Levi Westhead became obsessed with Mark Webster’s daughter and when all his efforts to contact her had failed he has taken the drastic step of taking a knife to their home.

‘Obsessive controlling behaviour is not normal or healthy in any relationship and the damaging use of social media platforms and the harassment by Westhead in this teenage relationship was the precursor to this awful attack.

‘Sadly, today’s sentencing provides no relief from the dreadful loss that Mr Webster’s family and friends have suffered, and my thoughts continue to remain with them.’

In a statement the family said: ‘Despite the conviction it will not bring back Web or ease the pain of him not being with us. It does however give us some peace of mind knowing that Levi Westhead is where he belongs for the term of his sentence. His death was so unnecessary. 

‘We would like to thank the police, the prosecution team and the jury for bringing us this justice.’

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