Dorset

Ryan Merna death: Former house guest guilty of host's manslaughter

Paul Taylor Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Paul Taylor, 50, was found guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility and acquitted of murder

A man has been found guilty of stabbing his friend 32 times after falsely accusing him of being a rapist.

Ryan Merna suffered wounds to his head, groin and chest in the attack at his flat in Poole in August last year.

Paul Taylor, 50, was found guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility and acquitted of murder, following a 16-day trail.

He will be sentenced at a later date. The case was adjourned for a psychiatric report to be prepared.

Winchester Crown Court heard Taylor "whooped and shouted" in celebration when he learned of the 29-year-old's death, and told police he had acted in self-defence.

Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Ryan Merna died from stab wounds to his chest and abdomen.

Mr Merna, the son of the owners of Compton Acres visitor garden in Poole, had allowed the accused to live with him after the pair met as patients at a psychiatric hospital.

Mr Merna then asked his guest to move out prior to the attack, the trial heard.

He made a 999 call on 14 August, 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.

A post-mortem examination concluded he had died from stab wounds to his chest and abdomen.

The court was told Taylor said to officers who arrested him: "I have killed a rapist. I really hope he is dead."

However, the woman concerned denied there had been any sexual assault, the jury was told.

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

A statement released by police on behalf of Mr Merna's family, described him as "kind, generous, sensitive" and "very much-loved".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites