A father and son from Bury St Edmunds have been found guilty of murder following a fatal stabbing in the town last year.
David King, aged 55-years-old, and Edward King aged 19, both of Radnor Close, were convicted at Ipswich Crown Court today, Monday, May 30, following a trial that began 10-weeks ago.
At around 3.55am on Sunday, June 20, 2021, police received a call via 999 from David King, who stated a man had been trying to steal from his car on the Moreton Hall Estate.
He told the call taker that he had tried to apprehend the male who had run off, admitting he had a knife in his hand and the man claimed he was injured by this before he ran away.
Upon arrival, officers located David King, in Winsford Road, away from his address, and where the stabbing took place. Other officers located the victim further into Winsford Road where he was found to have sustained a serious stab wound to the chest and was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge.
David King was first arrested at the scene on the morning in question, with the arrest of Edward King following later in the day. They were both released on bail on June 21.
The victim was later identified as Neil Charles, aged 47, of Bury St Edmunds. He tragically died in hospital on Tuesday, June 22.
A Home Office post-mortem examination concluded that Mr Charles died as a result of a single 12cm stab wound to the chest.
The police investigation found that on the night of the incident Mr Charles – who had a number of previous convictions for theft and burglary – had been trying car door and house handles on the Moreton Hall estate.
David and Edward King – alerted by their own CCTV that a thief appeared to be active in the area – armed themselves with weapons and went out to take the law into their own hands. No attempt was made by either party to contact the police to come and investigate.
David King had a Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife – a double edged knife resembling a dagger – while Edward had with him a 27-inch Ninja Sword. The fighting knife was used to inflict the fatal wound and the Ninja Sword caused a horizontal wound above the left knee of Mr Charles. This weapon was also used to stab the tyre of Mr Charles’ pushbike, which he left at the scene.
Mr Charles was some distance from the King’s property and was heading away from it when they caught up with him and the fatal blow was delivered.
Analysis of both men’s text message history revealed they had a fascination with weapons and, following previous thefts in the area, a clear intent and desire to deal with any perceived criminals themselves.
They were both rearrested on October 11 and were subsequently charged with murder, making their first court appearance on October 13.
During the trial both parties denied intentionally killing Mr Charles, with David King maintaining his version of events that he had disturbed Mr Charles in the act of trying to break into his car and he had run onto his knife.
However, the prosecution presented the evidence of the police investigation to demonstrate that the two men had actively gone out together to hunt down and attack Mr Charles in what can only be described as an act of vigilantism.
The court found both men guilty by a unanimous verdict and they have been remanded in custody for a sentencing hearing to be held at Ipswich Crown Court on a date yet to be fixed.