Kent

Folkestone murderer Brian Sharp beat love rival to death

Kent Police Image copyright Brian Sharp
Image caption Brian Sharp will be sentenced on 2 July

A man has been found guilty of beating his homeless love rival to death in a "jealous rage".

Brian Sharp, 55, was convicted of murdering Tim Clayton in Folkestone, Kent, in November last year by a jury at Canterbury Crown Court.

Jurors were told that Sharp had become jealous about 45-year-old Mr Clayton's close friendship with his on-off girlfriend.

Sharp, of Manor Road, Folkestone, is due to be sentenced on 2 July.

Kent Police said Sharp, accompanied by his Staffordshire bull terrier, had attacked Mr Clayton as he slept at the rear of Europa House in Pound Way in the early hours of 9 November.

Sharp punched and kicked Mr Clayton for 12 minutes, before leaving the scene.

'Loving father'

CCTV showed the father-of-two get up and check himself in a car window before returning to go to sleep.

He was found unconscious several hours later by bank staff arriving for work and died in hospital the following day.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Tim Clayton was attacked while sleeping in a car park in Folkestone

Following the verdict, Mr Clayton's parents John and Anna said: "On 10 November 2013, our precious son Tim was taken from us and we are left with a great void in our lives.

"His children have lost a dear and loving father and we now have to start to live the rest of our lives with an important member of the family missing."

Det Ch Insp Paul Fotheringham, the senior investigating officer, said: "This was a violent, callous and premeditated attack on a vulnerable man in the middle of the night.

"Sharp became consumed by jealously after learning of his girlfriend's friendship with Mr Clayton and he went out that night to hurt him.

"Mr Clayton didn't have a chance."

He paid tribute to Mr Clayton's family and thanked the bank staff who discovered and tried to help him before the emergency services arrived.

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