Father and son found guilty of murder in Suffolk vigilante attack

<img src="https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/e63tSobMCX88oNGSv64zBw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtjZj13ZWJw/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/NPHqB9nEzLTFO_Rcf.ivow–~B/aD0wO3c9MDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/1a2f8666b346eaf05c58816ff4fd322a&quot; alt="<span>Composite: PA
Composite: PA

A father and son have been found guilty of murdering a suspected thief in a vigilante killing.

David King and his 19-year-old son Edward King murdered Neil Charles after seeing him trying car door and house handles in Bury St Edmunds in June last year.

Charles was stabbed on 20 June and died two days later in hospital. A pathologist found he had a 12cm stab wound to his chest.

A jury was told that officers had found David King in Winsford Road, some way from his home, and Charles further along the road. They said the victim was heading away from the Kings’ house when he was killed. David King had a double-edged knife, resembling a dagger, and his son had a 27in ninja sword.

David rang police at 3.55am, saying that a man had been trying to steal from his car on the Moreton Hall estate in the Suffolk town.

The 55-year-old told call handlers that he had tried to stop Charles, who had run off, and admitted he had a knife in his hand and had injured the thief before he fled. He told a jury that Charles had run into his knife. Both men denied intentionally killing Charles.

However, Ipswich crown court heard that they had been out with weapons to hunt down Charles in an act of vigilantism, and had not called police to investigate after spotting a thief on CCTV.

The father’s knife was used to kill Charles, with Edward’s sword causing a horizontal wound above the 47-year-old’s left knee. It was also used to slash Charles’s bicycle tyre.

David King was arrested at the scene and his son Edward later that day.

Text messages read out during the trial showed that they had a “fascination” with weapons, and discussed a desire to deal with any perceived criminals themselves after a spate of thefts locally.

The Kings were found guilty of murder by a unanimous verdict on Monday. They have been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.

Published by anthonyhayble

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