Tyne & Wear

Christopher Graham guilty of friend's 'mutilation' murder

Christopher Graham Image copyright Northumbria Poilice
Image caption Christopher Graham was described by police as a "very dangerous individual"

A man has been convicted of the "horrific and violent" murder of his friend at his home.

Simon Bowman was found dead at an address in Jarrow, South Tyneside, in May.

The 54-year-old grandfather had been stabbed multiple times and had lost fingers and toes.

Christopher Graham, 30, of Romney Avenue, Washington, denied murder claiming he acted in self-defence, but was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court.

He will be sentenced on 31 January.

Mr Bowman's body was discovered at the property on High Street after friends became concerned that he had not been in contact.

Medical examination subsequently revealed had sustained significant injuries including blunt force trauma and fractures, numerous cuts and the removal of his fingers and toes.

Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Simon Bowman was a "loving, caring man with a big heart"

Graham was arrested and admitted killing his friend but said he had acted in self-defence, alleging Mr Bowman had tried to sexually assault him.

Gary Buckley, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "It was clear from the extent of injuries sustained by Simon, both before and after his death, that Graham's actions went well beyond anything that could be considered self-defence.

"We sincerely hope that his conviction for this horrific crime provide some measure of comfort to Simon's family and friends at this difficult time."

After the murder, Mr Bowman's close friends Mick and Kelly Collingwood said in a statement: "He was a devoted father, grandfather and best friend, a man who made mistakes in the past, however, he battled back to regain a place in society.

"To us he was a loving caring man with a big heart. He will be a great loss to us all."

Det Supt John Bent said: "This was a horrific, violent murder and today's verdict ensures that a very dangerous individual will be behind bars for many years to come."

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