MURDERER Stuart Rawling was caught on CCTV using his mobile phone in an attempt to get hold of Declan Bunting – the man he stabbed to death just hours later.

Stuart Rawling, of Wilderspool Causeway, was told he will serve a minimum of 23 years behind bars during a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court.

The 32-year-old, who stabbed his friend six times – including once in the heart, recently pleaded guilty to the offence on the morning of June 16.

READ MORE >> Stuart Rawling jailed for 23 years for murdering Declan Bunting

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The court heard that Rawling had spent the majority of the afternoon and evening of June 15 drinking in the nearby Causeway pub where he was a regular customer.

Mr Bunting joined him in the pub early in the evening where they were seen on CCTV laughing and smiling.

Warrington Guardian:

PICTURED: Declan Bunting

At around 9pm Mr Bunting left the pub to go to meet his girlfriend.

As the night progressed, Rawling became engrossed in his phone as he stood at the bar.

He tried to contact Mr Bunting by mobile phone, making 14 calls and was heard getting increasingly frustrated when his calls were ignored.

At around 1am Rawling left the pub and made his way to a flat occupied by a friend of Mr Bunting as he knew he would be there

Once inside, there was an argument between the pair – believed to have been sparked by an inappropriate remark made to another occupant of the flat.

Mr Bunting told Rawling to leave and he was escorted outside but continued to repeatedly call Mr Bunting on his mobile phone another 12 times over a period of nearly two hours.

During one call Rawling told Mr Bunting that ‘I’m going to go back to jail for what I do to you tonight’.

Rawling went back to his own flat where he armed himself with a knife and an axe.

At around 2.50am Rawling called Mr Bunting to say he was outside the flat and a fight ensued.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Declan suffered six stab wounds to his back, chest and arm and concluded that he died as a result of one stab wound piercing his heart.