Homeless drunk sentenced to life for killing best friend

First published in New Forest

A HOMELESS man was jailed for life after jurors convicted him of murdering his best friend.

Michael Hanlon said he could not remember stabbing Steve Pass, having drunk a litre of vodka and four pints of beer.

He tried to argue that he had an “abnormality of mind” caused by a previous head injury and alcoholism. But jurors did not accept his explanation, and unanimously found him guilty after considering their verdict for four hours.

Hanlon was told that he must serve at least 13 years before being eligible for parole. He showed no sign of emotion on being led from the dock.

Judge Mr Justice Field told Hanlon: “Mr Pass was your best friend, and you killed him when you were drunk, and killed him when you were in a temper.

“This case is a tragedy for Steven Pass, his parents, and it’s a tragedy for yourself and your family.

“You were also a man of good character for many years and it’s apparent that you are genuinely and profoundly remorseful for the death of your friend.”

His views were echoed by Detective Constable Wayne Brook who investigated the case. “It’s a tragic, tragic case where alcohol played a part in a man killing his best friend,” he said.

Hanlon, 53, had already admitted stabbing Mr Pass, 54, in Lyndhurst in March 2011. It took place at the victim’s flat in Foldsgate Close after they went for drinks at Lyndhurst Working Men’s Club.

Winchester Crown Court had earlier heard that Hanlon was asked to leave the venue for being drunk. The two men rowed and Hanlon stabbed his friend when they returned to the flat.

Both had been sleeping rough in a tent near Hythe, the jury had heard, before Mr Pass found a permanent home.

The court heard that Hanlon, formerly of Studley Avenue in Holbury, lost his confidence and turned to drink after suffering a fractured skull following an attack by a neighbour in 2001. He also parted from his wife of 27 years, Karen, because of his alcoholism.

After the verdict, prosecutors read a victim impact statement on behalf of Mr Pass’s parents, Eric, 81, and Jean, 76. The court heard that their other son died from cancer five years ago, and that Mrs Pass’s health had deteriorated.

The statement said: “Steven wanted to stay in the Hythe area and help with his mother’s care, which has been affected greatly. His father cares for her as best he can, but that obviously places him under great strain.”

Comments (13)

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12:43pm Tue 3 Apr 12

Goldenwight says...

Its ironic that Hanlon would probably have been dead within 5 years due to his alcohol abuse. This sentence has effectively doubled his life expectancy.
Its ironic that Hanlon would probably have been dead within 5 years due to his alcohol abuse. This sentence has effectively doubled his life expectancy. Goldenwight
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Tue 3 Apr 12

Joz1203 says...

And also given a homeless man shelter and food ...
And also given a homeless man shelter and food ... Joz1203
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5:03pm Tue 3 Apr 12

Frogham Ferret says...

Of course if he had used a car, he'd be back on the road already!
Of course if he had used a car, he'd be back on the road already! Frogham Ferret
  • Score: 0

6:19pm Tue 3 Apr 12

Over the Edge says...

Goldenwight wrote:
Its ironic that Hanlon would probably have been dead within 5 years due to his alcohol abuse. This sentence has effectively doubled his life expectancy.
He will be on the prison hooch soon hopefully, you never know if he drinks enough hooch he might get early release (in a box) and save the taxpayer a few bob.
[quote][p][bold]Goldenwight[/bold] wrote: Its ironic that Hanlon would probably have been dead within 5 years due to his alcohol abuse. This sentence has effectively doubled his life expectancy.[/p][/quote]He will be on the prison hooch soon hopefully, you never know if he drinks enough hooch he might get early release (in a box) and save the taxpayer a few bob. Over the Edge
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Tue 3 Apr 12

CHICK59 says...

Before you all start to slag Mick off, I would just like to say that although I would never condone what he did I have known him for well over 25 years and was there the night he got attacked outside his own front door. He never fully recovered from the attack, and the change in him was horrid to see. Please dont judge what you know nothing about! I also knew of the victims family and my heart goes out to them.
Before you all start to slag Mick off, I would just like to say that although I would never condone what he did I have known him for well over 25 years and was there the night he got attacked outside his own front door. He never fully recovered from the attack, and the change in him was horrid to see. Please dont judge what you know nothing about! I also knew of the victims family and my heart goes out to them. CHICK59
  • Score: 0

9:47pm Tue 3 Apr 12

belicious says...

life for a life .... yup that seems very fair, although my condolences go to Steves family it is fair to say that both of them were not saints just sinners and that is for knowing them for 35 odd years.
life for a life .... yup that seems very fair, although my condolences go to Steves family it is fair to say that both of them were not saints just sinners and that is for knowing them for 35 odd years. belicious
  • Score: 0

11:39pm Tue 3 Apr 12

WECOMING4U says...

What point does that video serve?
What point does that video serve? WECOMING4U
  • Score: 0

8:00am Wed 4 Apr 12

Saint&Sinner says...

belicious wrote:
life for a life .... yup that seems very fair, although my condolences go to Steves family it is fair to say that both of them were not saints just sinners and that is for knowing them for 35 odd years.
I too know Mick well and, with other friends, visited him in prison while on remand. Before this tragic incident we all tried to help him out when he split up from his wife and lost his house but he just would not listen to any advice, he seemed to be on a collision course with life and society. His family also did their best to guide him back to some sort of normality.

At the end of the day a flash of temper destroyed two lives, one forever. As the Judge and the DI said this was indeed a tragic case.
My heart goes out to both families.

I also believe that the Echo is wrong to show this video and allow comments in a case such as this as some of the abusive comments could be read by the families and cause further upset.
[quote][p][bold]belicious[/bold] wrote: life for a life .... yup that seems very fair, although my condolences go to Steves family it is fair to say that both of them were not saints just sinners and that is for knowing them for 35 odd years.[/p][/quote]I too know Mick well and, with other friends, visited him in prison while on remand. Before this tragic incident we all tried to help him out when he split up from his wife and lost his house but he just would not listen to any advice, he seemed to be on a collision course with life and society. His family also did their best to guide him back to some sort of normality. At the end of the day a flash of temper destroyed two lives, one forever. As the Judge and the DI said this was indeed a tragic case. My heart goes out to both families. I also believe that the Echo is wrong to show this video and allow comments in a case such as this as some of the abusive comments could be read by the families and cause further upset. Saint&Sinner
  • Score: 0

8:24am Wed 4 Apr 12

kev001 says...

The echo should not show the video firstly they are calling Hanlon Paul which was stephens real name (not steve) and this is distressing for both parents and surviving family. Why show an helpless drunk on the floor. Only thing is now a face can be put to the murderer.

Justice has been done, the parents have now lost both sons and although stephen was no saint he loved his parents dearly and no one deserves to be killed in this way. This has caused un reversable stress on families involved. Let Stephen now rest in peace.
The echo should not show the video firstly they are calling Hanlon Paul which was stephens real name (not steve) and this is distressing for both parents and surviving family. Why show an helpless drunk on the floor. Only thing is now a face can be put to the murderer. Justice has been done, the parents have now lost both sons and although stephen was no saint he loved his parents dearly and no one deserves to be killed in this way. This has caused un reversable stress on families involved. Let Stephen now rest in peace. kev001
  • Score: 0

9:27am Wed 4 Apr 12

Saint&Sinner says...

kev001 wrote:
The echo should not show the video firstly they are calling Hanlon Paul which was stephens real name (not steve) and this is distressing for both parents and surviving family. Why show an helpless drunk on the floor. Only thing is now a face can be put to the murderer.

Justice has been done, the parents have now lost both sons and although stephen was no saint he loved his parents dearly and no one deserves to be killed in this way. This has caused un reversable stress on families involved. Let Stephen now rest in peace.
Well said Kev
[quote][p][bold]kev001[/bold] wrote: The echo should not show the video firstly they are calling Hanlon Paul which was stephens real name (not steve) and this is distressing for both parents and surviving family. Why show an helpless drunk on the floor. Only thing is now a face can be put to the murderer. Justice has been done, the parents have now lost both sons and although stephen was no saint he loved his parents dearly and no one deserves to be killed in this way. This has caused un reversable stress on families involved. Let Stephen now rest in peace.[/p][/quote]Well said Kev Saint&Sinner
  • Score: 0

11:32am Wed 4 Apr 12

chunky_lover says...

If he is homeless, why was he arrested from his home?
If he is homeless, why was he arrested from his home? chunky_lover
  • Score: 0

7:02pm Wed 4 Apr 12

kev001 says...

He was not arrested at his home it was stephens home.
He was not arrested at his home it was stephens home. kev001
  • Score: 0

12:36pm Tue 17 Apr 12

Beer Monster says...

I've known Mick for most of my life, he was a sound fellow before the attack on him - brought up some great kids (his son was doing very well in Australia last I heard), and was a kind and thoughtful person.

Really is a tragic case, my thought are with the friends and family of both men.
I've known Mick for most of my life, he was a sound fellow before the attack on him - brought up some great kids (his son was doing very well in Australia last I heard), and was a kind and thoughtful person. Really is a tragic case, my thought are with the friends and family of both men. Beer Monster
  • Score: 0

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