Essex

Colchester pensioner 'stabbed by hitman', court is told

The house where John Sales was stabbed
Image caption John Sales was stabbed in the back in the back garden of the house he had just sold

A man hired a hitman to kill his stepfather so he could inherit £200,000 tied up in the value of his house, a jury has heard.

John Sales was stabbed in his back garden in Colchester, Essex, on 10 November 2015. He survived the attack.

The stabbing had been plotted by his stepson Flash Day, 45, who resented Mr Sales' inheritance of his mother's house, Chelmsford Crown Court was told.

Mr Day, of Colchester, has denied conspiracy to commit murder.

Brian Reece, opening the prosecution case, said Mr Day had discovered that Mr Sales had made a will, leaving most of his estate to him.

It prompted him to hatch a plan to get hold of the money, the court heard.

The turning point came when Mr Sales put the house up for sale for £240,000 and Mr Day had seen the "sold" sign, the court heard.

Image caption Prosecutors said a "10-inch long Rambo-style hunting knife" was used in the attack and its sheath was found at the scene

'Planned attack'

Mr Reece said that Mr Day's friend, Scott Moffat, 49, had suggested an acquaintance as the man to commit the murder.

"This was not a random attack by a stranger," he said. "This was a carefully planned attack."

Prosecutors said a "10-inch long Rambo-style hunting knife" was used in the attack and its sheath was found at the scene.

Mr Sales, then aged 70, was left with a deep wound to his back and a gash down the side of his jaw.

Ryan Hynes, 21, of Long Road, Lawford, admitted the attempted murder of Mr Sales on the first day of the trial.

Mr Day, of Rose Allen Avenue, Colchester; Mr Moffat, of Colchester Road, Manningtree; and a teenage girl who cannot be named for legal reasons; all deny conspiracy to commit murder.

The trial continues.

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