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Burglar who murdered Godstone pensioner Dennis Kellond jailed

image copyrightSurrey Police
image captionDarren McClean stole Dennis Kellond's phone and used it to call his drug dealers

A burglar has been jailed for 32 years for murdering a pensioner in his home.

Darren McClean, 42, was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court for the killing of 88-year-old Dennis Kellond in the Surrey village of Godstone on 25 April.

He had pleaded guilty to manslaughter but prosecutors proved he had intended to seriously harm or kill Mr Kellond.

McClean, of Coneybury in Bletchingley, had claimed two other men threatened him with claw hammers and were with him in Mr Kellond's home.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said only McClean's DNA was found at the scene.

McClean stole Mr Kellond's mobile phone and used it to call his drug dealers. He also stole a pair of cufflinks, the CPS said.

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionThe body of Dennis Kellond was found by his son at his home in Godstone

The body of Mr Kellond, who had lived alone since the death of his wife, was discovered by his son after a neighbour had expressed concern.

He had been shielding during the coronavirus lockdown and was being supported by his children and grandchildren.

Rev Peter O'Connell, from St Nicholas Church in Godstone, said Mr Kellond had also been in contact with other people in the village.

"None of us feared that murder might be one of the things that we should worry about.

"We are a quiet, peaceful village.

"Things like this don't happen here, so it was a terrible shock when something this terrible happened in our midst," he said.

Rev O'Connell said Mr Kellond had been very active in the village for many years "filling his retirement very profitably for both himself and for the village as a whole, so he was well liked and very well thought of".

"He should have had many more years ahead of him to be part of village life," he added.

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Related Topics

  • Bletchingley
  • Godstone

More on this story

  • Burglar convicted of Godstone pensioner murder