Two men who beat and stabbed to death a neighbour have been convicted of murder by unanimous decision.
Gary Beech, 48, of Cromwell House, Charlotte Despard Avenue, SW11, and Michael Swan, 45 , of Enterprise Way, SW18, were found guilty today, Wednesday, 8 May at Old Bailey of the murder of 46-year-old Ian Tomlin.
The court heard how Beech and Tomlin were neighbours, and that Swan, a close friend of Beech, was a regular visitor to the block.
Ian believed the pair were dealing drugs from there and often disputed their presence at the location.
This had led to a long-running feud between the victim and the two defendants, spanning many months before the attack.
On Wednesday, 17 October 2018, Ian returned home shortly after 5.20pm to find Beech and Swan meeting in a communal area on the first floor landing of the building.
An altercation began.
The court heard from a witness who described how Ian had armed himself with a baseball bat and chain during the confrontation. CCTV footage captured Swan and Ian fighting, with Beech intervening.
Ian was then overcome and struck on the head a number of times with the baseball bat he brought to the scene; he was also stabbed repeatedly in the neck.
Beech and Swan then left the block, Swan carrying what appeared, from CCTV footage, to be the baseball bat.
Police arrived on scene shortly after the assault, and found Ian lying on the floor of the first floor communal lift area with severe injuries.
He had received fatal wounds to the back of his head and neck and, despite the efforts of emergency services, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A post-mortem examination was held and identified Ian’s cause of death as a blunt force trauma to the head and stab wounds to the neck.
Detectives from Homicide and Major Crime Command launched an immediate investigation into Ian’s murder.
Analysis of CCTV footage identified Beech and Swan as the men who had brutally assaulted Ian and left him for dead.
Swan was arrested at his home address Enterprise Way, SW18 on Thursday, 18 October. Beech was arrested at his home address of Charlotte Despard Avenue, SW11 the following day.
Detective Inspector Jo Sidaway, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “These men acted together in a brutal assault leading to Ian’s tragic death.
“They overpowered Ian and began an excessively violent attack upon him, no doubt because he was again confronting them about their criminal activities.
“I hope this conviction brings some measure of comfort to Ian’s family.
“Today’s verdict shows that we will not tolerate violence on London’s streets and officers will pursue and bring anyone who incites such brutal and horrific acts to justice.”
Both have been remanded in custody and appear for sentencing on Friday, 17 May at the same court.