Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Andover intruder jailed for murdering sleeping man

Ben Harvey Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption Ben Harvey killed 26-year-old William Rudiak with a kitchen knife

An intruder who climbed through a house window and stabbed a sleeping man to death has been jailed for a minimum of 28 years.

Ben Harvey killed 26-year-old William Rudiak with a kitchen knife and bit the dead man's girlfriend on the cheek in Andover, Hampshire, on 11 June.

On the same night, the 22-year-old then went to a nearby village where he molested a teenage girl who was in bed.

Harvey, of Little London, near Andover, was convicted of murdering Mr Rudiak.

He was also found guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm against Mr Rudiak's girlfriend Alexandra Taylor, and trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption William Rudiak died from a single stab wound

The trial was told that Harvey had drunk beer, smoked cannabis and taken a "fake drug" which he thought was cocaine ahead of the attacks.

Harvey had "no memory" of the night and had messaged his girlfriend the following day saying "I think I've killed someone" before adding "I thought it was a dream", the jury heard.

His defence had argued it was "not disputed" he had killed Mr Rudiak but that the combination of alcohol and drugs had had a "completely different effect than he had experienced previously".

Prosecutor Kerry Maylin said Harvey entered the property in Turin Court in the early hours and stabbed the sleeping Mr Rudiak before biting Ms Taylor, who was in bed next to him, on the cheek.

She said: "He broke in armed with a large kitchen knife and whilst there, having entered by an open window, fatally stabbed William Rudiak."

She said Harvey then drove to a nearby village where he entered a cottage and tried to remove a teenage girl's pyjama bottoms as she lay in her bed.

The teenager said in a police interview: "I think he was trying to rape me. I was so shocked."

Image caption The body of William Rudiak was found at a house in Turin Court

After the hearing, Det Ch Insp John McGonigle of Hampshire Constabulary said: "These were disturbing incidents that have had a significant impact on the friends and family of all those involved.

"Despite the clear evidence, Harvey's pleas have meant that those affected have had to relive their experience in the courtroom.

"I would like to thank them for their courage and I hope that today's sentence gives them some form of closure."

Kerry Maylin of the Crown Prosecution Service added: "We hope that this conviction will bring some kind of comfort to the family of Mr Rudiak and to Miss Taylor."

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