Kent

Labourer gets life term for Headcorn church porch murder

Ruslan Piktorov Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Piktorov was ordered to serve at least 18 years

A labourer has been given a life sentence for murdering a homeless man he befriended in a Kent village.

Ruslan Piktorov, of no fixed address, was ordered to serve at least 18 years at Maidstone Crown Court.

The 40-year-old had previously denied murdering Trevor Hillman, but admitted the charge at a hearing on Tuesday.

The court heard he struck up conversation with Mr Hillman but turned on him in what police described as "a ferocious attack" on 21 October.

The 57-year-old's body was found in the porch at St Peter and St Paul's Church, Headcorn.

'Truly horrific'

Police said Piktorov repeatedly punched and stamped on his victim in an assault that lasted about 50 minutes and broke all his ribs.

Piktorov also took Mr Hillman's belt and strangled him with it.

Before and after the attack, Piktorov made a number of unsuccessful attempts to use his victim's bank card to withdraw money, officers said.

After the hearing, Det Insp Lee Whitehead said it was a brutal attack that continued even after the victim lay motionless on the ground.

He said: "The level of violence used to murder his victim was truly horrific."

Det Insp Whitehead also said Mr Hillman was known by a large number of people and had frequently used the church porch area as a place to sleep.

He said the crime had had a profound effect on the local community.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption CCTV showed Piktorov following Mr Hillman into the porch
Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Piktorov was also seen disposing of blood-stained clothing

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