Joshua and Jerome Ellis guilty of stepfather killing
- 26 February 2014
- From the section Surrey
Two brothers have been found guilty of killing their stepfather in a knife attack that left him with more than 60 wounds at the family home in Surrey.
Joshua Ellis, 23, was convicted of murder and his brother, Jerome Ellis, 14, was found guilty of manslaughter on grounds of loss of control.
Both had denied murder but admitted manslaughter, at Guildford Crown Court.
Jurors heard they attacked Neil Tulley, 54, as he lay on the sofa at the house in Cedar Way, Guildford, last August.
Mr Tulley, who was in a relationship with their mother Marie, was "asleep or nearly asleep" at the time of the attack, which was so severe he was nearly beheaded.
During the trial, prosecutor Philip Katz QC said the brothers had a complicated family background, with the adults described as "dysfunctional".
A year earlier, Mr Tulley had threatened to kill Joshua and swung at him with an axe, the court heard.
Jurors heard Mr Tulley was arrested and charged with making threats to kill but was acquitted.
The court heard he returned to the crowded family home but relationships deteriorated further.
Mr Katz told jurors the brothers went on to act together and killed the man, who was in effect their stepfather.
"Each of them was armed with a kitchen knife, a very large substantial kitchen knife, and stabbed Neil Tulley to death in what the prosecution would say was a savage attack in which he was almost decapitated," he added.
He said because Mr Tulley was "asleep or nearly asleep" there could not be any question of them acting in self-defence.
The court was told the brothers went on the run after the killing but were found by a member of the public.
Joshua told the man Mr Tulley "had been abusive and they could not take it any longer", jurors heard.
The jury also heard that after his arrest, Joshua told police he had been scared about what Mr Tulley would do to the family.
A post-mortem examination confirmed Mr Tulley died from multiple stab wounds and found he had "65 separate sites of injury" across his body, the most severe at the neck.
Mr Katz read out a statement on behalf of Mr Tulley's family which said his mother had been left "traumatised" while his four siblings were "struggling to come to terms" with his murder.
Both brothers were remanded in custody and are due to be sentenced on 10 April.