A man who murdered his landlord in an ‘attack of incredible savagery’ has been jailed for at least 18 years.
Alan Knight, 51, killed ‘gentle giant’ David Bond on August 6 by stabbing him repeatedly at his home where they both lived.
The murder prompted a nationwide manhunt after he fled the scene of the killing in Osmonde Close, Worthing, eventually presenting himself to police 242 miles away in Lancashire.
He appeared at Hove Crown Court this morning and was told he must serve a minimum of 18 years and 238 days before he is eligibile for parole.
Mr Bond, who worked as a crane driver, was a much loved friend and family member who cared for his elderly mother who has dementia, the court heard.
Graham Smith, prosecuting, said a ‘history of tension’ had developed between the two after Knight moved into Mr Bond’s home as a lodger in the latter part of 2015.
The disagreements related to ‘relatively trivial matters around the house’ like cleaning and feeding the neighbour’s cat, Mr Smith added.
Mr Bond, who was 50 years old when he died, had spent several hours at the pub with a friend before leaving and walking to the taxi rank where he was captured by CCTV, the last time he was seen alive.
Later that night a neighbour heard an argument coming from Mr Bond’s house, which they described as different and louder than usual, but did not hear anything else for the rest of the evening, according to the prosecution.
The court heard that Julie Grogan, Knight’s girlfriend at the time, received a number of texts from him about Mr Bond that evening while she was out, including: “[He has] just come back from the pub pissed again. Not really sure I want any of this. Might start thinking of another direction.”
Knight later sent her a message saying Mr Bond wanted him to move out by the end of the month and added ‘should I just kill him?’
At this point she thought Knight was winding her up, the prosecution said.
She later received a text saying: “I have killed him. I have had enough”.
Knight also sent her a number of images of a bloodstained body via WhatsApp, the court heard.
The pair spoke the next day and Knight confessed that he had killed Mr Bond. She tried to persuade Knight to go to the police, but he refused, Mr Smith told the court.
The pair travelled to Victoria Station in London and there Knight bought two new pay as you go phones.
Again she tried to get him to turn himself in, but he got on a bus and she returned to Sussex.
Just after midnight on August 12, after he had been on the run for six days, Knight surrendered himself at Fleetwood police station in Lancashire.
The court was shown police footage of Knight telling officers what had happened.
He said he left a note saying the microwave needed cleaning and that Mr Bond had ‘kicked my door and started being abusive’.
“I just lost my rag and I killed him”, Knight told police.
Knight was arrested and was moved back to Brighton after undergoing hospital treatment for self-inflicted wounds.
Rebecca Upton, defending, said that Knight injured himself ‘in an attempt to take his own life’.
She pointed out that Knight had written a letter to the family and friends of Mr Bond expressing his remorse.
Knight is currently working in prison to keep himself occupied and intends to study with the Open University while he serves his sentence, Miss Upton added.
Sentencing him, Judge Christine Laing QC described the killing as an ‘attack of incredible savagery’ and rejected the notion that it was a momentary loss of control.
This was a ‘brutal attack’, she said, adding that sending photographs of Mr Bond’s bloodstained body was ‘an act I find particularly callous’.
Knight only surrendered after it was clear his girlfriend was going to the police, the judge added.
She said she did not observe any remorse from him at all, except for the fact he was going to jail.
He was sentenced to a minumum of 19 years in prison, reduced to 18 years and 238 days to take into account time already served, and must pay a victim surcharge.
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