A lodger who lived with his Worthing landlord and killed him in August this year has been jailed for life. This case highlights the importance of checking out (screening) tenants very carefully and especially in the case of lodgers who will be sharing the landlord’s own home.
In August last police officers were called to Osmonde Close in the Broadwater area of Worthing where it had been reported that a man could be seen lying in a house and there was concern for his welfare.
When officers managed to break down the door, it quickly became obvious David Bond had been murdered and they found his lodger Alan Knight’s bike lying on top of him. David Bond, a crane operator and owner of the house in Osmonde Close, was last seen alive about 6pm on Saturday, August 6 having been drinking with his friend in The Warwick pub in Worthing town centre.
He arrived home and it is believed an argument began with his lodger and housemate, Alan Knight, 51, about the cleanliness of the house and the state of the microwave.
Later Knight withdrew £600 from a cashpoint in Church Road, Hove before driving David Bond’s vehicle to the Mitcham area of London where he abandoned the car and carried on the rest of his journey to Southend on train to see a friend he had been texting. He stayed the night before travelling back to London. The following night he stayed at a hotel in Luton, by the evening of August 9 he was in Bath having travelled via Nottingham and Cardiff.
By Wednesday evening Knight had travelled to Blackpool via Southampton and stayed for two nights. He then handed himself into Fleetwood Police Station, near Blackpool, on August 12 having inflicted injuries on himself and was initially taken to hospital for treatment and then arrested.
Knight was subsequently charged with murder and pleaded guilty at court on Friday, November 4. He was sentenced on Tuesday (December 20) at Hove Crown Court to life with a minimum of 18 and a half years.
David stepfather, Sonny said: “David was a caring loving son and father to his two sons David junior and Christopher. Out of no reason, his life was taken away cruelly. His mother will miss him very dearly as will I. David was so kind and caring and out of this that caring brought his downfall and caused his death”.
DCI Tanya Jones
Detective Chief Inspector Tanya Jones said:
“I am relieved Knight pleaded guilty to his crime preventing David’s family having to endure the trial, I hope they can now begin to process what happened to him and look to the future.
“This was a cold and calculated crime which Knight had thought about carrying out and which he executed with absolute clarity. Knight knew exactly what he was doing and confessed he made a conscious effort to evade police in the days after murdering David.
“They met through their work in the construction industry and Knight privately rented from David. They had only lived together about six months when Knight killed him.
“Knight confessed they fell out over the cleanliness of the house and the tipping point was the microwave. His reaction was extreme for something, which in reality, was very small. The level of violence was horrendous as Knight repeatedly stabbed David 29 times.”
Landlords taking in lodgers into their own home need to take extra care during the screening process to check the background of applicants thoroughly, take up references and do credit and criminal record checks.