A MAN has been jailed for life for the murder of his friend.
Janis Mikitovs was celebrating his 36th birthday on March 28 and had invited his friend Kristaps Muzikants to come to his house in Skelmersdale the evening before to celebrate with him.
But the celebrations turned to tragedy after Mikitovs stabbed his friend following a night of drinking. Mr Muzikants, 30, died in the early hours of March 28 as a result of a stab wound to the abdomen.
A post-mortem examination showed he had suffered a single 23-centimetre knife wound which penetrated his liver and sliced through a major vein, causing catastrophic internal bleeding.
Mikitovs initially claimed to police called to the scene that his friend had gone outside and he had found him injured in the street. He later changed his story but claimed he had no knowledge of how Mr Muzikants got his injury.
Mikitovs, 36, of Acregate, Skelmersdale, had denied murder but was convicted last month following a trial at Preston Crown Court.
He was jailed for life and will serve a minimum term of sixteen and a half years before he is eligible to apply for parole.
Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Willis said: “Janis Mikitovs has shown no remorse and told lies to try and cover up what he did.
“He has offered no explanation for his actions and I know Kristaps’ family have found that especially hard to come to terms with.
“While no jail term can ever truly compensate for the loss of a loved one, I hope this sentence offers them some small comfort and that they are now able to start to try and move on with their lives.
“This case sadly once again shows all too clearly the devastating consequences that can result from violence involving the use of a knife.”
In a tribute, Mr Muzikants’ family said: “Kristaps was a really nice person, he was always happy.
“Our family is longing to see his face, his smile and hear his voice. We all miss him so much.”