Beds, Herts & Bucks

Man stabbed neighbour to death in Luton over £600 debt

Police vehicles outside house on Hitchin Road, Luton
Image caption Meuric Roberts' body was found in a ground-floor flat in Hitchin Road, Luton

A man has been told he must serve at least 31 years in jail after being sentenced to life for murdering an ex-neighbour he owed £600 to.

Simon Lewis stabbed Meuric Roberts, 56, to death after going to his flat in Hitchin Road, Luton, on 22 April.

Lewis, 39, from Chapel Street, in the town, stabbed Mr Roberts in the chest a number of times and severed his jugular vein.

He was found guilty by a jury at Luton Crown Court on Friday.

Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption The jury heard Mr Roberts was known to lend money to people

The jury heard Mr Roberts was known to sell small quantities of tobacco and lend cash to people.

Mr Roberts's daughter told the court her father had lent £600 "to the boyfriend of a girl from upstairs".

CCTV showed Lewis heading to Mr Roberts's flat on Easter Monday and then heading back towards his own flat.

Swabs taken

Images showed him leaving the property three times to dispose of rubbish sacks in bins. The rubbish was never recovered, the court heard.

The prosecution said swabs taken from under Mr Roberts' fingernails revealed a DNA sample with a strong match to the accused.

Jogging bottoms found at Mr Lewis' flat showed a stain on them likely to be from the deceased's blood.

Mr Roberts was described as a "much-loved proud dad, granddad, brother and uncle" by his family.

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