A man has been jailed for murder following a fatal stabbing in Thornton Heath

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Kenneth Pitcher, 51, of Woodcroft Road, Thornton Heath, was jailed for 14 years at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday, 19 November after being found guilty of the murder of 61-year-old John Kennett at the same court the previous day.

A murder investigation was launched after police were called at approximately 9.30pm on 23 December 2019 to reports of a stabbing on Woodcroft Road. Officers and London Ambulance Service [LAS] attended. John was found outside a residential address suffering from stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 9.49pm.

A post-mortem examination found the cause of death to be multiple incised wounds and blunt force trauma to the head.

The court heard Pitcher and John were known to each other and considered each other friends. On the day of John’s murder, it is believed an altercation took place at the address and Pitcher assaulted then stabbed John multiple times. Pitcher then dragged John outside his home and left him injured the street.

Pitcher then lied to police about his involvement; he initially told officers he did not know John or how he came to be injured outside his home. He told the paramedics that John had knocked on his door asking for help, and had then stumbled and fallen to the ground. This account was false and it was Pitcher who fatally stabbed John.

Detective Inspector Garth Hall of Specialist Crime South, said: “John Kennett was killed by someone he considered a friend, someone he trusted. John was attacked when he was at his most vulnerable in a place where he felt safe, the attack was unprovoked and brutal.

“Our thoughts are with the family at this time. They have acted with immense decorum in what has been an emotionally charged ordeal – I am extremely pleased they have seen justice served.”