Kent

Tunbridge Wells noise row neighbour murderer jailed

Gordon Locke Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Gordon Locke stabbed his neighbour twice

A man who stabbed his neighbour to death after he received a complaint about noise from his flat has been jailed for life.

Gordon Farnes, 43, died at his home in Sherwood Road, Tunbridge Wells, on 17 July 2018.

He was murdered by Gordon Locke, 28, of no fixed address, after complaining that Locke was making too much noise from his flat above.

Locke was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to a minimum of 22 years.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Gordon Farnes was described as "vulnerable"

Judge David Griffith-Jones QC said that after the attack, Locke "brazenly" told his girlfriend that he had "finally taken care of your neighbour".

The court heard Locke was on a "cocktail" of illegal drugs when he twice stabbed Mr Farnes with a "fearsome" combat knife.

Kent Police said Mr Farnes had suffered ongoing problems with noise from Locke - who had moved in a year earlier - and had applied to be moved to another address.

Det Insp Chris Greenstreet, from Kent Police, said: "This was an utterly senseless and brutal attack on a vulnerable man who lived on his own and who simply wanted to be left in peace."

David Skelton, from the CPS, said Locke had regularly contradicted himself.

"Amongst his many claims were that he acted in self-defence and that he had been attacked by the victim," he said.

"The truth was that Locke lost his temper and was intent on killing his victim, or at least inflicting serious injury on him."

In a statement after Locke was found guilty, Mr Farnes' family said: "From this point onwards we can start to grieve together in private, remembering Gordon as he was and not the event which took him away from us."

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