A HAMPSHIRE man jailed for life for stabbing his identical twin brother to death has lost an Appeal Court bid to clear his name.

Robert Peter Cerqua, 32, of Langdown Road, Hythe, was caged for a minimum 13 years at Winchester Crown Court on October 20 last year.

He was found guilty of murdering his twin brother Christopher Cerqua.

The brothers lived together with their parents, Sir Brian Leveson told London's Criminal Court of Appeal.

Their relationship 'tended to deteriorate' when either had been drinking and there was evidence of previous violence between them.

On New Year's Eve 2013 a party was held at the family home in Hythe.

The twins argued and Robert stabbed Christopher, pictured below, once in the stomach with a knife.

Daily Echo:

The stab wound punctured the victim's aorta and he died about an hour later from the resulting blood loss.

Cerqua left the family home barefoot but was arrested later.

He admitted the stabbing but said his brother had threatened him with a knife. He claimed he acted in self-defence.

But the prosecution case was Cerqua's actions were unprovoked and he stabbed his brother in a 'fit of temper' and then ran away.

Cerqua's lawyers today argued his conviction was 'unsafe'.

They claimed that evidence of an argument between the brothers on November 9 2013, which involved a knife, should not have been put before the jury.

But Sir Brian said: "There was no error in law in holding the evidence was relevant to an important matter in issue, namely who first picked up the knife.

"The judge exercised his discretion in a way entirely permitted by the legislation.

"We do not consider there is any basis for justifying leave to appeal against conviction."

Daily Echo:

The murder weapon

However, Sir Brian, sitting with Mr Justice Edis and Judge John Bevan QC, ruled that Cerqua minimum jail term should be reduced by 291 days.

That was the time he spent on remand before he was sentenced.