Man found guilty of murdering his neighbour in Walton Cardiff, near Tewkesbury
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A man has been found guilty of murdering his neighbour in Walton Cardiff, near Tewkesbury, last year.
Can Arslan, 52, had denied the murder of Matthew Boorman, and instead had pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Following a trial at Bristol Crown Court, jurors found Arslan was in control of what he was doing and that he had planned and intended to kill Mr Boorman.
During the trial, the court heard how there had been a "long-running dispute" which involved several neighbours and the defendant.
An injunction was in place against Arslan and eviction proceedings were underway to remove him and his family from their home in Snowdonia Road.
The court heard how the defendant had threatened his neighbours, including threats to kill them. He had been charged with harassment a week prior to the incident.
Kate Brunner QC told jurors how on 5 October last year Arslan ambushed Mr Boorman, 43, as he returned home from work on a conference call on his mobile phone.
He was attacked on his front lawn and sustained 27 stab wounds.
Mr Boorman's wife, Sarah, tried to save her husband and repeatedly attempted to pull Arslan off him, while screaming for help. She was stabbed in the thigh during the incident.
Arslan then forced entry to the rear garden of another nearby neighbour, Peter Marsden, who lived a short distance away. Arslan gained entry to the home and stabbed Mr Marsden eight times.
At this time Arslan had been pursued by an off-duty police officer, Sergeant Steve Wilkinson, who had armed himself with a piece of wood.
While being attacked, Mr Marsden managed to push Arslan out of his home and Sgt Wilkinson hit him with the piece of wood.
CCTV footage was shown to jurors which showed how several nearby neighbours congregated in the street to try and stop Arslan from hurting anyone else.
Another off-duty officer, PC Josh Norris, had collected two golf clubs and the group of around six or seven men then surrounded Arslan as he walked in the street.
The court also heard how during this time several neighbours, including two off-duty nurses, were trying to save Mr Boorman and provide medical assistance to him on his front lawn. They then carried Mr Boorman inside his home.
Police arrived and Arslan was red-dotted with a Taser; he then dropped the knife, and was arrested and taken into custody.
During the trial, jurors were told by psychiatrists that Arslan had a personality disorder, but that he was in control of what he was doing that day and knew the difference between right and wrong.
His defence team, Howard Godfrey QC, told jurors that Arslan's decisions on that day were not rational, and that he was suffering from an "abnormality of mental function".
The jury dismissed that suggestion and Arslan was found guilty today, Tuesday 5 April, and is due to be sentenced on 9 June following a psychiatric report.
He had previously admitted the attempted murder of Mr Marsden, causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Mrs Boorman and affray.
Following the verdict, Detective Inspector Ben Lavender said: "The events which unfolded on that early evening in October last year were truly horrific, and Arslan has not shown a single shred of remorse for his barbaric actions.
"He carried out an inhumane act in broad daylight on the front lawn of Matthew Boorman's home, while his incredibly brave wife and neighbours did everything they could to try and save him.
"Mr Boorman's children were also only a few feet away inside their home - this was savagely cruel.
"Within minutes Arslan then tried to take the life of another person and inflicted several serious stab wounds on Peter Marsden.
"Arslan chose to go to trial and denied murdering Mr Boorman, claiming instead that he had diminished responsibility. I welcome the jury's verdict which has found that Arslan was lying.
"He made a choice to take a life that day by carrying out these evil acts, and has lacked remorse ever since.
"Mr Boorman was a loving husband and devoted father of three young children. My condolences remain with his family, friends, and all those in the community who are traumatised by what took place."