A debt-ridden robber from Birmingham who stabbed a taxi driver through the skull in a frenzied knife attack has been jailed for at least 30 years after being found guilty of murder.
Jurors at Worcester Crown Court took about four hours to unanimously convict Andrew Bayliss after hearing that he compiled a journal confessing that he was "swimming in guilt" in the months after killing Mohammed Arshad in a Worcestershire road next to the Birmingham City training ground near Hopwood.
Bayliss, of Ratcliffe Avenue, Kings Norton, had denied murder, claiming that a childhood friend he met in a park was responsible for the killing.
But CCTV images and forensic evidence presented to the court, which included bloody palm-prints found on the victim's vehicle, proved that Bayliss had carried out the stabbing.
The warehouse worker's journal - in which he even wrote that he deserved to be caught - was found under his mattress when he was arrested in November 2009 following an appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.
Mr Arshad, a father of three whose wife was expecting their fourth child, died in hospital a day after suffering 14 separate knife wounds on July 22, 2009.
Jailing Bayliss for life and ordering him to serve at least 30 years before being considered for parole, Judge Alistair McCreath said the killing had devastated the victim's family.
The judge told the defendant: "In July of 2009 you were in desperate financial trouble - you were in substantial debt, living beyond your means in part because of your drug abuse and in part because of other extravagances in your life.
"You and, I am satisfied, you alone hit on a plan to relieve the financial pressure on you by robbing a taxi driver."
Judge McCreath, the Recorder of Worcester, said the "terrible incident" had culminated in Bayliss stabbing Mr Arshad repeatedly, inflicting six injuries to his head alone.
"This was an attack of considerable intensity, brutal and savage," the judge told Bayliss. "Your intent as you carried it out cannot have been less than to kill."
Mr Arshad, 36, from Birmingham, was left to die in a ditch beside Wast Hills Lane, near Hopwood, as Bayliss sped away in his taxi.
In his self-incriminating journal, apparently written for friends to read after his arrest, father-of-one Bayliss did not mention the man he later blamed for the killing.
In the notebook, Bayliss wrote that he "could not imagine being jailed until I am an old man" and that he "would rather die than spend life in prison".
Other excerpts from the notebook, described by the prosecution as the intense, personal, agonised thoughts of a man wracked with guilt, read: "I know I deserve to be caught but instincts are telling me to run and I am in so deep.
"I have wasted my life and destroyed others. I don't deserve anyone to be at my funeral."
The two-week murder trial also heard that Bayliss was picked up by Mr Arshad from near the gates of Broadmeadow School in Kings Norton on the evening of July 22.
The police investigation established that Bayliss, who had debts totalling around £20,000, stole very little, if anything, from Mr Arshad.
Detective Superintendent Sheila Thornes, of West Mercia Police, said: "This was a brutal and senseless murder of a man carrying out a vital service for the community.
"Our investigation has revealed that Bayliss had significant financial worries, which indicated that robbery may have been the motive.
"Bayliss himself has admitted that he planned to commit a robbery on a taxi driver that day.
"However, money and other property was left behind in (Mr) Arshad's taxi and it appears that Bayliss gained nothing from such a brutal attack."
She added: "Our thoughts are first and foremost with (Mr) Arshad's family who not only suffered the trauma of losing a son, husband and father, but also had to cope with the ordeal of a long and painstaking investigation as well as a lengthy wait for the case be heard.
"We have all been impressed by their dignity and are also grateful for the full support they gave to our officers during what was an extremely difficult time for them.
"Hopefully now they can move on and start rebuilding their lives."
In a written statement released after the court hearing, Mr Arshad's family said they were unable to come to terms with his death, describing him as a "kind, genuine and hard-working man".
They said the father of three, known as Arshad to friends and family, "died while out trying to do the best for his family and community".
Mr Arshad's brother-in-law, Mohammed Sheraz, read the tribute to gathered reporters on behalf of the family.
He said: "In Pakistan he was regarded as the backbone of the family and, like his wife Shahida and family here, they have been left completely shattered.
"We are all unable to come to terms with his death, let alone the brutal manner in which he was killed.
"Shahida is still unable to come to terms with what has happened, and cannot understand why Andrew Bayliss has destroyed her life, ruined the lives of her children and taken away such a caring husband.
"Every day has been a challenge and she prays to God to give her strength to get through this for the sake of her children."
He added: "While it is a huge relief to all of us that his killer has been caught, nothing is going to bring Arshad back.
"The whole family are devastated with this loss - my sister no longer has a caring husband and her children have lost their dad that they adored and treasured.
"Arshad's parents are still feeling the loss of their son and suffer every day knowing that their son is no longer with them."