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Life sentence for neighbour who murdered his friend with a hammer in Faversham

PUBLISHED: 12:42 08 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:43 08 November 2017

Anthony Goodwin

Anthony Goodwin

Archant

Anthony Goodwin, 62, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday

Hammer used in the attack Hammer used in the attack

A neighbour who killed his 75-year-old friend with a hammer during a fight at a home in Faversham has been jailed for life.

Anthony Goodwin, 62, of Crispin Close, hit Harry Messenger in the head multiple times in the early hours of afternoon of Friday, May 19.

He claimed it was an act of self-defence, and said he was attacked while drinking at Mr Messenger’s home, also in Crispin Close.

Goodwin then went to his own house and washed his clothes before returning to Mr Messenger’s address, ringing the doorbell and calling his mobile phone.

Harry Messenger Harry Messenger

It was not until the afternoon that he contacted Kent Police when no one answered.

Officers attended and found Mr Messenger’s body in the living room of his home with substantial injuries to his head and injuries to his chest.

A hammer was found next to his body and enquiries found Mr Messenger’s injuries were consistent with being hit multiple times with the weapon.

During the 999 call made by Goodwin, he said: “I think I might have hurt him [Mr Messenger] because we had a fight.”

He also said he took the hammer off the 75-year-old and struck him on the head.

Goodwin, who had suffered minor facial injuries during the altercation, was arrested at his home on suspicion of murder.

He was found to have sent a text to a friend admitting he had murdered someone and asked to speak to his brother urgently.

He was found guilty of murder at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday and was sentenced to life imprisonment the following day.

He will serve a minimum of 13 years before being considered for parole.

Investigating officer detective chief inspector Ivan Beasley said: “This was a sustained and brutal attack.

“The multiple wounds found on the victim including the fatal wound to his head proved Goodwin intended to kill Harry Messenger.

“The severity of this attack, the text message he sent from his phone soon after and then the time he took to report this matter to the police voided any claim he was acting in self-defence.

“I hope this verdict and the sentence is of some comfort to Mr Messenger’s family and friends.”

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