Kent

Travis Smith murdered Gravesend cousin Danny Wallis

Danny Wallis Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Danny Wallis's body was found the following day after Travis called emergency services

A man who murdered his cousin and put his body in a bath full of water has been jailed for a minimum of 18 years.

Travis Smith, 24, strangled Danny Wallis, 29, at his flat in Clarence Row, Gravesend, on 30 May.

He was arrested by police on their way to the scene the following evening after he phoned South East Coast Ambulance to report the body.

Smith, of Singwell Road, Gravesend, was convicted at Canterbury Crown Court after a 12-day trial.

Kent Police said he had claimed to acquaintances he killed his victim by accident during a fight.

Mr Wallis died from compression of the neck but had a number of other injuries, including two black eyes and cuts and bruising, police said.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Travis Smith claimed he killed his cousin by accident during a fight

The court was told detectives discovered Smith had made threats to kill his victim in the days leading up to the murder.

He later confessed to acquaintances he was responsible for the death but claimed he had been threatened with a knife and was acting in self-defence.

Smith was jailed for life and told he must serve at least 18 years before being considered for parole.

Following the trial Mr Wallis's family said: "No amount of justice will bring our son back.

"He was kind and loyal and is greatly missed by all the family."

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Smith left the body submerged in the bath at the flat in Gravesend

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