Kent

Sleeping homeless man strangled by friend in Margate flat

Kevin Tridgell Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Kevin Tridgell had shown no signs of causing problems, police said

A man who twice asked police to help eject his sleeping homeless friend from his flat has been jailed for life for his murder.

Trevor Brazier called police a third time to say he had killed 38-year-old Kevin Tridgell in his Margate flat.

Brazier, 48, denied murder, claiming he strangled Mr Tridgell in self-defence, but he was found guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and jailed for life.

An investigation by the police watchdog said police were in no way to blame.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said Kent Police officers had acted "above and beyond their duties" during their visits to the flat.

Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Trevor Brazier twice asked police to eject his friend before killing him

The court heard Brazier called paramedics to his home in Northdown Avenue, Margate, in the early hours of 2 June 2018, with conflicting messages about Mr Tridgell's condition.

Kent Police said Mr Tridgell, who was homeless, was intoxicated and they advised Brazier to leave him to sleep it off.

Brazier called police again a few hours later saying he wanted his friend removed as he was due to leave for work, but was again advised to leave him to sleep, the court was told.

When he called police again at about 06:00 he told them he had strangled Mr Tridgell after he had tried to attack him with a knife.

But he was found guilty of murder and ordered to serve a minimum term of 12 years and 213 days.

Det Insp Chris Greenstreet said: "Mr Tridgell had not shown any signs of causing issues and in fact had not woken during previous visits to the flat by emergency services."

IOPC regional director Sarah Green said: "The officers made a judgement call, based on the evidence in front of them, not to arrest Mr Tridgell or remove him from the property.

"Our investigation concluded that this decision did not cause or contribute to Mr Tridgell's death and the officers acted in a professional manner."

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