A MURDERER has apologised to his victim's father as he was jailed for at least 19 years for the killing.

Daniel MacLeod, 36, stabbed Abdul Deghayes, 20, in the leg, arm and buttocks before driving off and leaving him to bleed to death in a Brighton street.

Police were called to the scene in Elm Grove shortly after 9.30pm on February 16 last year after Abdul was found with critical injuries in a car that had crashed.

He had been stabbed eight times by 37-year-old Macleod.

Speaking at Macleod’s sentencing at Southwark Crown Court in London on Friday, Mr Deghayes’ father said he accepted the killer’s “sorrow”.

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Abubaker Deghayes

Addressing Macleod directly in court, Abubaker Deghayes said in his victim impact statement: “You looked me in the eyes many times and I remember you said you are sorry.

"I want to take that at face value.”

MacLeod told him: "I am sorry."

Drug dealer Macleod, of Lambeth, south London, appeared shocked as judge Nicholas Hilliard jailed him for life, with a minimum term of 19 years, less the 630 days he has already spent in custody.

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Killer Macleod

Wearing a blue suit and glasses, Macleod remained silent as the sentence was delivered.

During his murder trial, the jury heard the exact motive for the killing may never be known.

On the night of the stabbing, Mr Deghayes and his friend Colby Broderick had arranged to meet Macleod to buy cocaine outside a block of flats.

But when the victim left his car to conduct the deal, Macleod attacked him.

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Tributes to Abdul Deghayes at Elm Grove, Brighton

Although he managed to return to Mr Broderick’s vehicle, Mr Deghayes lost consciousness and died in hospital the next day from blood loss. He suffered eight stab wounds, including several major injuries to his legs and buttocks.

Macleod denied murder, claiming he was acting in self-defence, and said he was “ashamed” at his involvement in the drug trade.

But a jury found him guilty of one count of murder following eight hours and 11 minutes of deliberations.

A second defendant, 56-year-old Stephen Burns, of Lennox Street, Brighton, was found not guilty of assisting an offender after being accused of helping Macleod flee the scene and hide evidence.

Along with Macleod, he had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs, namely cocaine and ecstasy, and one count of conspiracy to supply class B drugs, namely cannabis.

Police discovered more than £100,000 worth of drugs in a raid at an address linked to Macleod, the court heard.

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Abdul Deghayes

Philip Evans QC, mitigating, said Macleod was “fearful” of returning to prison having been previously attacked in custody.

Macleod was sentenced to 85 months’ jail for the class A drug offences and 41 months for the class B offence, both of which will run concurrently with his life term.

Burns, who appeared in court on crutches, was sentenced to two years and 10 months jail for the drug offences.

Philippa McAtasney QC, mitigating for Burns, described him as a “classic dogsbody”, whose “naivety and gullibility was exploited”.

A third defendant Abdi Dahir, 25, of Meadowview, Brighton, was also jailed for four years and two months after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and one count of conspiracy to supply class B drugs.

Kevin Light, mitigating for Dahir, said the defendant had started earning a living “legitimately” after his arrest in February 2018.

Wearing a purple top – his son’s favourite colour – Mr Deghayes’s father said in his statement: “With the loss of Abdul, Daniel Macleod becomes a total loser.

“Drugs and drug money are contaminated with invisible blood. Drug dealers, poison pushers, end up seeking visible blood to fulfil their addiction for the destruction of others.”

He described his son as a “joyful” character, but added he was also not an “innocent angel”.

Two of Mr Deghayes’s teenage brothers, including his twin, died fighting in Syria.

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The young brothers went to fight in Syria

Abdullah was killed in 2016 aged 18 while their brother Jaffar, 17, was killed in 2014 while trying to overthrow Bashar Assad’s government.

They are survived by a fourth brother, Amer, a former finance student, who had also travelled to Syria.