Essex

Man found guilty of murdering Essex chef

Reynald Duchene
Image caption Reynald Duchene was stabbed after challenging the defendant, jurors were told

A man has been found guilty of the murder of a chef at a classical music concert in Essex.

Karl Wills, 22, of Cranley Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, denied stabbing Reynald Duchene, 37, in Priory Park, Southend, on 26 June.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Mr Duchene challenged Wills, of Westcliff-on-Sea, when his fiancée Paula Haddlesey was "pestered" after leaving the concert.

The jury spent two hours deliberating before delivering the verdict.

Wills, who was arrested four days after the murder, will be sentenced at a later date.

Judge Gratwicke said: "The term will be one of life imprisonment and the term will indeed be long."

Mr Duchene, of South Woodham Ferrers, died from a single stab wound to the heart, the jury had previously been told.

Image caption Wills was told by the judge his term will be "life and long"

Det Supt Tracy Hawkings, of the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate, said: "It was a cold, callous and deliberate act.

"I would like to pay personal tribute to Reynald's family, his fiancee Paula and their friends who have conducted themselves with dignity throughout the court proceedings.

"Reynald's death has left them all completely devastated. I hope today's verdict will bring them some small comfort."

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