Kent

Faversham hammer attack murder: Anthony Goodwin guilty

Anthony Goodwin (left) and Harry Messenger (right) Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Anthony Goodwin (left) has been found guilty of murdering his friend Harry Messenger (right)

A man has been found guilty of murdering his 75-year-old friend in a "sustained and brutal" hammer attack during a fight.

The body of Harry Messenger was found in the living room of his home in Faversham, Kent, on 19 May.

Anthony Goodwin, 62, of Crispin Close, claimed he acted in self-defence when he was attacked at Mr Messenger's home on the same street.

But a jury found him guilty of murder after a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.

Goodwin waited until the day after the attack to dial 999, Kent Police said.

'Confession' text

He told the operator he had wrestled the weapon from Mr Messenger during a fight.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption The hammer was found next to Mr Messenger's body

However, Goodwin suffered only minor facial injuries while the victim sustained "substantial injuries" to his head and chest consistent with multiple hammer blows, police said.

After the attack, police said Goodwin went to his own house and washed his clothes before returning to Mr Messenger's address, ringing the doorbell and calling his mobile phone.

He sent a text to a friend admitting he had murdered someone and asking to speak to his brother urgently, detectives discovered.

When police eventually searched Mr Messenger's address they found the hammer next to his body.

Det Insp Ivan Beasley said the extent of Mr Messenger's injuries proved Goodwin intended to kill him.

"The severity of this attack, the text message he sent... and then the time he took to report this matter to the police voided any claim he was acting in self-defence," he said.

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