Cornwall

'Savage' killers of St Austell homeless man jailed

Daniel Altass, Joshua Buscombe and Jordan Bishop Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Daniel Altass, Joshua Buscombe and Jordan Bishop killed Stephen Bull

Three men who stabbed a homeless man to death in "cold-blooded, premeditated savagery" have been jailed.

The judge said ringleader Daniel Altass was motivated by "financial greed" and took "pleasure in the act of killing".

Altass, 22, and Joshua Buscombe, 25, were convicted of the murder of Stephen Bull in St Austell and sentenced to 27 and 19 years in prison respectively.

Jordan Bishop, 22, was sentenced to eight years for manslaughter at Truro Crown Court in Cornwall.

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Mr Bull and all three offenders were living at Cosgarne Hall homeless hostel in St Austell at the time of the killing.

The court heard how the men lured Mr Bull out of the hostel at about 02:45 GMT on 11 January on the premise of buying some beer.

He was described as being very drunk and had received £1,800 in benefit back payments earlier in the day.

Altass, who pleaded guilty an earlier hearing, fatally stabbed Mr Bull in the head, neck, arms and back multiple times with a 32cm (12.5ins) long knife taken from the hostel kitchen.

'Sadistic'

Sentencing, Mr Justice Mark Warby said Altass was "a killer with an obviously disturbed mind which, coupled with financial greed, led to cold-blooded, premeditated savagery of the most chilling kind."

"Your motivation was in large part to take pleasure in the act of killing, which is why you were jubilant as you walked back to Cosgarne Hall," he added.

"There was a sadistic aspect to what you did."

Image caption Stephen Bull was murdered next to a play area in Gover Park, St Austell

Buscombe carried the knife to the scene in his hoodie but did not participate in the attack.

Bishop's role was to kick Mr Bull which forced him to the ground where the attack happened.

Both Bishop and Buscombe pleaded not guilty but were convicted by a jury.

A dog walker found the body next to a children's play area in Gover Park later in the morning.

In a victim statement read to the court, Mr Bull's sister Natalie described her brother as "a warm and generous person who just wanted friends".

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