Dorset

Poole man stabbed 32 times 'over false rape claim'

Wessex Road Image copyright Google
Image caption The body of Ryan Merna was found at a flat in Wessex Road in August

A murdered man was stabbed 32 times by his friend who falsely accused him of being a rapist, a court has heard.

Ryan Merna, the son of the owners of Compton Acres botanical gardens in Poole, suffered wounds to his head, groin and chest in the attack at his flat in the town in August last year.

Paul Taylor, 50, "whooped and shouted" in celebration when he learned of the death, Winchester Crown Court was told.

Mr Taylor, who denies murder, told police he acted in self-defence.

Image copyright Paul Gillett
Image caption Mr Merna's parents own Compton Acres botanical gardens in Poole

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said Mr Merna, 29, had allowed the accused to live with him after the pair met as patients at a psychiatric hospital.

Before the attack, the victim had asked Mr Taylor to move out and had packed up his belongings in bin bags.

Mr Merna then made a 999 call, in which he said: "Someone is coming at me with a knife, I need help."

Police found his body at the base of communal stairs with a knife in his back.

Ms Maylin said Mr Taylor told officers who arrested him: "I have killed a rapist. I really hope he is dead.

"I came here to murder him, he needs to pay for what he has done."

But she said the woman concerned had denied there had been any sexual assault.

Mr Taylor was assessed as being sane but suffering from a personality disorder at the time of the attack, the court heard.

The trial continues.

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