A man from Croydon murdered a dad-of-two who had tried to break up a fight in an Iceland car park. 

Matt Portland, 42, died after he was stabbed in the neck as he tried to step in and break up a fight. 

Jamie Lewis, 25, of Bensham Lane in Thornton Heath, has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 24 years. 

On Friday February 3 last year Matt was at the Haystack Pub on Canvey Island, Essex, when an argument broke out between door staff and customers who had been refused entry. 

Matt and a friend had tried to intervene in the fight, which soon moved to an Iceland supermarket car park. 

Your Local Guardian: Jamie Lewis from Thornton HeathJamie Lewis from Thornton Heath (Image: Essex Police)During the fight Matt was stabbed twice in the neck by Lewis, and he was pronounced dead in the early hours of Saturday morning. 

After stabbing Matt in the neck, Lewis returned to the pub covered in Blood and tried to enter again. 

Lewis was arrested in Croydon three days later and was charged with murder and possession of a bladed article. 

A jury unanimously found him guilty of murder on October 10. 

On Thursday (January 11) Lewis was sentenced to life in prison. 

Your Local Guardian: Matt PortwoodMatt Portwood (Image: Essex Police)A statement from Matt’s family said: “We would like to firstly thank Essex police and the CPS who together helped bring justice for Matt. 

“We will never heal from our loss of Matt or from the trauma that we have endured. The children will never get their daddy back, a loss of a son and a brother, but we will hold on to the memories we have and that Matt’s spirit will always live on with the children.” 

Matt’s parents said: “The death of Matthew had a traumatic effect on his parents and sisters, and this is something that they will live with forever. 

“They are extremely grateful to Essex Police and the CPS for bringing the person responsible to account and allowing some measures of closure”. 

Your Local Guardian: Police outside Iceland on Canvey IslandPolice outside Iceland on Canvey Island (Image: Essex Police)Detective Inspector Kev Hughes, who led the investigation, said: “My thoughts today are with Matt’s family and friends, the compassionate manner in which they have supported each other and conducted themselves throughout the case has been testament to their strength of character. 

“Matt was acting as peacemaker; he was simply trying to protect & assist with a situation and tragically this intervention cost him his life. 

“The evidence identified Mr. Lewis was carrying & then used a knife in the attack on Matt, his cowardly actions will now see him spend a significant amount of time in prison. 

“Whilst I know, no custodial sentence will ever bring Matt back, I hope this important milestone will help his family and friends move forward.”