Man faces life behind bars after he was found guilty of murdering a Northumbria University student

A man is facing life in prison after he was found guilty of murdering his boyfriend in student accommodation in Newcastle.
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Aaron Ray, 21, fatally stabbed Northumbria University student Jason Brockbanks while they were in Jason’s room at Mansion Tyne student accommodation on Howard Street, in Newcastle, on September 24, 2022.

Ray, of Mayfield Road in Sunderland, claimed that he had acted in self-defence after he was attacked by 24-year-old Jason.

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Despite knowing that Jason had suffered fatal wounds, Ray left him in his room and got a taxi back to Sunderland minutes after carrying out the attack.

Aaron Ray was found guilty of murdering Jason Brockbanks. Aaron Ray was found guilty of murdering Jason Brockbanks.
Aaron Ray was found guilty of murdering Jason Brockbanks.

Jason’s body remained in the room until his family reported him as missing due to not hearing from him for several days.

This caused Northumbria University staff to raise the alarm, with officers entering Jason’s room and discovering that he had been stabbed to death.

A murder investigation was launched and Ray was arrested after CCTV footage showed him and Jason returning to the student accommodation on the evening that he was stabbed.

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Ray was charged with murder and denied the offence; however, a jury saw through his lies and convicted him at Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday, March 21.

He will be sentenced at the same court on Thursday, March 23.

After the trial, Jason’s family paid tribute to their “beloved” son, saying: “We would like to thank the police for all their assistance and support throughout this matter and the prosecution barrister and their team.

“We would also like to thank the jury for making the correct decision.

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“We would like to thank Jason’s friends and the Mansion Tyne staff for their support throughout the trial.

“We miss our beloved son dearly and we are thankful we have justice for Jason.”

The senior investigating officer in the case, Detective Inspector Tomasz Fowler, commented: “First and foremost I would like to pay tribute to Jason’s family for the strength and courage they have shown throughout the legal process.

“Their lives have been devastated by his death and we once again express our condolences to them.

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“We sincerely hope that today’s conviction provides a degree of closure.

“Aaron Ray showed no regard for Jason’s life and has deservedly been convicted of his murder.

“On the night he killed Jason, he disposed of the murder weapon and fled the scene, failing to notify the emergency services that Jason had been seriously injured. If he had raised the alarm and called 999, Jason could still be alive today.

“Jason had been enjoying living in the North East after moving to the region and had his whole life ahead of him.

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“We thank the jury for seeing through his lies and providing justice for Jason’s family and friends.”

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