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Jason Lodge guilty of Croydon baseball bat killing

A man has been convicted of killing a father of nine by beating him with a baseball bat at his south London flat.

Jurors found 39-year-old Jason Lodge guilty of manslaughter but cleared him of murdering 55-year-old David Petch.

Lodge's partner and co-defendant, Cherri Gilmartin, 37, was cleared at the Old Bailey of both charges.

The jury heard Mr Petch was beaten at his home in Croydon last April after it was alleged he had been supplying Ms Gilmartin's sister with cocaine.

'Self-defence'

Mr Petch died from a brain injury four days after the 14 April attack at his flat on the New Addington estate.

During the trial Ms Gilmartin denied hitting Mr Petch, while Lodge claimed he was acting in self-defence after being attacked first.

The couple, of Uvedale Crescent, New Addington, who have eight children, fled to Rye in East Sussex after the killing but later gave themselves up to police.

Lodge is due to be sentenced on 18 July.

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