Daniel Johnson
Daniel Johnson was given a life sentence with a minimum of 23 years in prison.Northumbria Police

A brash murderer called police and asked for a lift home after brutally stabbing to death a grandfather in his bed for no apparent reason.

Daniel Johnson launched the frenzied attack on special constable David Wilson in a Sunderland flat after he had attempted to rob Wilson's partner on 14 December 2014.

Johnson, of Morris Street, Gateshead, had denied murder at Newcastle Crown Court but was found guilty by a majority of 10 to 2 and will serve a minimum of 23 years behind bars for killing.

The court had heard how the drunk 21-year-old had stolen his victim's phone after murdering Wilson, whom he had stabbed repeatedly through his duvet as he slept.

The jury heard how Johnson had attempted to rob the 49-year-old's partner after he had been drinking at a nearby house party, where he was pictured pouring alcohol into his eyes and dancing.

The hearing was told how Johnson had left the party and came across Wilson's partner who had left the pair's Southwick Road flat to get a takeaway.

CCTV footage captured the attempted robbery by Johnson who led Wilson's partner to a cash machine to try to force them to get money out, but this failed.

David Wilson
David Wilson was stabbed to death in 2014.Northumbria Police

But Johnson had stolen the man's house keys and let himself into the flat where Wilson, who had also been drinking, was asleep before taking a knife from the kitchen and launching his attack.

It was then that Johnson called 999 to ask police to take him from Sunderland to his Gateshead home.

In the recorded call played during the trial, Johnson told the handler: "I don't have a clue how I'm getting home. I live in Gateshead. I was at a house party and I missed the last Metro."

Johnson then walked home along the tracks to Seaburn Metro Station and dumped the phone nearby, Chronicle Live reported.

Jailing him for life with a minimum term of 23 years Mr Justice Males told Johnson: "It was a vicious and savage attack on a defenceless man.

"It is clear from the defensive injuries to his hands which David Wilson sustained that for at least part of the attack he was awake and conscious of what you were doing to him.

"David Wilson was a 49-year-old man with a loving family. Since leaving school he had a number of jobs and also served for some six or seven years as a special constable with Northumbria Police.

"His murder has had a profound and traumatic effect on his entire family, as his daughter has movingly described."