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Weapons obsessed father who murdered thief with son says 'oh come on!' during arrest

NewsWeapons obsessed father who murdered thief with son says 'oh come on!' during arrest

A father and son who murdered a thief in their “own form of justice” have been jailed. Edward King, 20, wielded a two-foot-long sword at Neil Charles after he spotted him trying to open car doors on their CCTV. His father, David followed his son shortly after armed with a knife outside their home in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Mr Charles was stabbed in the chest and a slash on the knee before he was taken to hospital where he died two days later. Upon his arrest, David was heard arguing with police saying: “Oh come on.”

The prosecution told Ipwish Crown Court that the duo wanted to carry out “an act of vigilante justice” in the neighbourhood.

The court heard that the two were weapons obsessed and David has previously sent a message to his wife saying “scum must die” while his son said car thieves should be shot, have their private parts cut off and be drowned or choked before they are killed.

Both defendants denied murder but were found guilty following an earlier trial.

Footage from Suffolk Police shows the moment of their arrest where David is heard telling police Charles came towards him and hit him with his bike.

The footage shows David saying: “He was in between those two grey cars there trying a car door handle and I shouted at him, ‘What are you doing? I know what you are up to’, and he came towards me and said, ‘No mate I am just looking for a light, got a lighter, got a lighter’.

“I said stay there. This went on for a minute or so, and he whacked his bike into me which is how I got that bruise.

“So he was like this with the bike and I stood where you are. And he was going like, ‘No mate, no mate’, and then went like that to try and get away.

“I had a knife in my hand and then he ran me and he held himself there and he argued for a bit. He seemed to be play-acting a bit of I am honest and he ran off.”

He is later seen arguing with police saying: “Oh come on”.

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The court heard that Mr Charles was seen on the neighbourhood CCTV trying to open the doors of the King’s cars when the defendants confronted him.

The victim, who had 66 previous convictions suffered a stab wound to the chest and to the knee.

Richard Kelly, prosecuting said the defendants had “harboured for some time angry resentment against those who were thieving locally” and on two occasions went out “armed with lethal weapons”.

At the time of the incident, Edward had been serving a 12-month referral order after he waved a machete at a former girlfriend.

Kieran Vaughan KC, mitigating claimed the pair made threats to “blow off steam”.

He told the court: “Mr Charles was on the estate that night for no good reason.

“He had been on the estate for three and a half hours trying to access door handles of cars and properties.

“That does not mean to say that he deserved what he got. But the reality is that if Mr Charles had not been up to his activities that night, none of us would be here.”

David was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 21 years while Edward, who was just 18 at the time of the murder, must serve a minimum of 19 years.

Judge Martyn Levett, sentencing said they went out “with the intention of hunting down Mr Charles and at least causing him really serious harm” with a “considerable amount of premeditation and planning”.

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