Essex

Colchester man hired hitman to kill stepfather

The house where John Sales was stabbed
Image caption John Sales was stabbed in the back in the back garden of the house he had just sold

A man who hired a hitman to kill his stepfather has been convicted of planning to murder him in a "horrific act born out of sheer greed".

Flash Day, 46, of Rose Allen Avenue, Colchester, was angry about not being the sole inheritor of his 70-year-old stepfather John Sales' home.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Day hired Ryan Hynes, 22, who stabbed Mr Sales 11 times in the face, head, neck, chest, shoulder and back.

Day denied conspiracy to commit murder.

The court heard Hynes, of Long Road, Lawford, went into the garden of Day's stepfather's house in Hythe Hill, Colchester, on 10 November 2015 and carried out the attack.

Police described it as "ferociousness" with the aim to kill.

The pensioner managed to dial 999 and officers arrived to find him critically injured on his doorstep.

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He was taken to hospital and placed in an induced coma. He needed five operations and requires continuing medical treatment.

Image caption Prosecutors said a "10in-long Rambo-style hunting knife" was used in the attack and its sheath was found at the scene

In the month before the stabbing, Day had also requested a copy of the deeds to the house Mr Sales' house from the Land Registry, the court heard.

Day had tried to mislead officers during the course of their investigation by deleting mobile phone text messages, but detectives recovered several that implied his involvement in the attack.

Forensic evidence linked Hynes to the incident and in October he admitted attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

In May last year, a 17-year-old girl from Colchester, who had given Hynes an alibi, admitted perverting the course of justice.

Det Insp Al Pitcher said: "This was an horrific act born out of sheer greed and it was only good fortune and the efforts of emergency services and medical professionals that the victim survived."

Day - who changed his name from Ashley to Flash by deed poll - Hynes and the teenager will be sentenced in June.

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