A BOSTON man stabbed a stranger to death after going to the aid of a young woman who was walking home alone after a drunken night out, a court was told.
Stephen Sleaford, 38, is alleged to have knifed Janusz Smoderek, 48, in the heart after going to help the woman who was receiving "unwanted attention" from the Polish father-of-three.
A murder trial jury at Lincoln Crown Court was told Mr Sleaford acted lawfully at first when he and another man separated Mr Smoderek from the woman after coming across them on their way home from a pub in Boston.
But Tim Spencer, QC, prosecuting told the court Mr Sleaford then pulled out a knife and stabbed Mr Smoderek when he was no longer a threat to anybody else.
The body of Mr Smoderek, who worked as a flower packer in Holbeach, was found around three hours later in the garden of a house on Sleaford Road in Boston.
A post mortem examination showed Mr Smoderek, who lived in the Revesby Avenue area of Boston, had suffered six separate stab wounds including one injury which had "pierced" his heart.
Mr Spencer told the jury: "This is a case of murder alleged against Stephen Sleaford. On Sunday September, 11, 2011, at about 7.20am the body of Janusz Smoderek was found in the garden of a house at 28 Sleaford Road in Boston.
"Mr Smoderek had been stabbed to death. He had been stabbed to death by Stephen Sleaford."
The jury heard Mr Sleaford and two friends had left the Axe and Cleaver pub at around 4am when they came across Mr Smoderek and the woman who had become separated from her friends during a night out in Boston town centre.
"Mr Sleaford's initial contact with the man he eventually killed was lawful," Mr Spencer said.
"He and another man, Peter Parrish, had intervened to separate Mr Smoderek from a highly distressed and very drunk young lady who did not want Mr Smoderek's attentions to her.
"They intervened and split it up, but having rendered Mr Smoderek no threat to her or anybody else Mr Sleaford pulled out a knife he was carrying and used it with wholly disproportionate, unnecessary and unlawful violence.
"Mr Smoderek was left to die."
The prosecution allege Mr Smoderek was left slumped over a hedge. His body was later found in the garden of number 28 Sleaford Road.
"Examination of his body revealed six separate stab wounds," Mr Spencer told the jury.
"Five of those were to the chest area and one of those five had pierced his heart.
"Common sense will tell you that caused critical blood loss which led to his death."
It is alleged Mr Sleaford confessed to killing Mr Smoderek at some stage as he continued to walk the girl home.
Mr Sleaford, of no fixed address, denies the murder of Janusz Smoderek on 11 September, 2011,
The trial, which is expected to last four weeks, continues.