Man found GUILTY of murder after dad, 51, stabbed 18 times on Surrey train

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A man has been found guilty of murder after stabbing a father to death in front of his son on a Surrey train.

Darren Pencille, 36, knifed 51-year-old Lee Pomeroy 18 times in less than 30 seconds on board the Guildford to London Waterloo train on January 4.

He made no reaction when the jury delivered its unanimous verdict, while members of Mr Pomeroy’s family sobbed as his wife’s statement was read to court.

The Old Bailey in London heard how an argument broke out between Pencille and Mr Pomeroy, who was travelling with his 14-year-old son after spending the day in London.

Footage of the incident showed the two men engaging in a heated discussion in one of the carriages after Pencille was accused of making a “snide” remark as he boarded.

The first wound to Mr Pomeroy’s neck opened his jugular vein and carotid artery.

Pencille then stabbed him 17 more times as the unarmed father tried to defend himself.

Pencille made no reaction when a jury found him guilty of murder by unanimous verdict

Lee Pomeroy was stabbed to death on a train

 

Prosecutor Jake Hallam QC said: “The incident lasted 25 seconds and during those 25 seconds Mr Pomeroy sustained 18 stab injuries.”

In CCTV footage, other passengers can be seen leaving the carriage as blood pools around the door area where two men are grappling.

Pencille then got off the train at Clandon station, where he was collected by his girlfriend Chelsea Mitchell.

Mitchell, 27, was found guilty of assisting an offender by a majority of 11-1.

Mitchell, 27, was found guilty of assisting an offender by a majority of 11-1

A jury delivered their verdict on Darren Pencille [pictured] today

 

Police investigating the incident seized Pencille’s phone, which contained a hoard of knife images.

During the trial, Pencille’s barrister Justin Rouse QC revealed they would be calling no witnesses.

The judge, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, asked: “Have you advised Mr Pencille that the time has now come when the defence can call evidence, have you advised him that if he wishes to, he can give evidence in court, and have you advised him that if he chooses not to give evidence it would be permissible for the jury to draw such inferences as may be proper?”

Mr Rouse confirmed he had.

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Train CCTV footage of Lee Pomeroy and Darren Pencille engaging in an argument on board

Police seized a phone belonging to Pencille that contained a number of images of knives

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In a statement after his death, Mr Pomeroy’s family paid tribute to the “family man”, saying: “Lee took his son on a trip to London hoping to spend some quality time with him, which was cut short by a horrific and pointless attack.

“Lee would have had his birthday today but did not get to see his presents.

“He was an honest, bright person, who loved music very much; he knew history and art and he was a bachelor of science in maths. He was a devoted family man and did everything for his family. He was an honourable man and would always help somebody who was in trouble.

“He was a loving husband and father, he will be deeply missed by all his family.”

Images of knives found on Pencille’s phone during the murder investigation

Pencille was accused of stabbing Mr Pomeroy to death

A statement read out in court from Lee’s wife Svetlana said the family’s future plans have been “devastated” by his loss.

She said he was a “loving father” who supported his son’s interests and hobbies.

She said: “I miss my husband every day and to compound this situation [his son] was with his father when he died.

“I am in tears as this statement is being written. Lee loved life, and it has been cruelly cut short in a cruel and unnecessary way.”

The family cried in court as the statement was read out.

Dumped clothing found by police belonging to Pencille

 

Earlier, prosecutor Jacob Hallam QC detailed Pencille’s two previous convictions to jurors.

In February 2010 he pleaded guilty to wounding with intent after stabbing a man at an address he was living at in West Norwood, southeast London, the previous July.

“He became involved in an argument with the victim, a 24-year-old male who also lived there,” Mr Hallam explained.

Pencille admitted another offence of common assault last June over an argument with a member of staff at another address he was living at, this time in Brixton, southwest London, two months earlier in April 2018.

Mr Hallam says Pencille, having brought a knife to the scene and used it to commit a murder, faces a life sentence with a minimum term of 25 years as a starting point, aggravated by his previous convictions and the fact that the killing took place “on a train, in the middle of the day” and in front of several witnesses including his son.

Darren Pencille in the dock at the Old Bailey

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn of the British Transport Police, said: “This was a case where a brief argument resulted in a moment of shocking violence that ended with the death an adored father, husband, brother and son. 

“No argument, however heated, should result in the violence seen that day and no family members should ever bear witnesses to the violent death of a loved one.

“It was solely the actions of a murderer who, when challenged, could only respond with vicious threats and a knife , which led to Mr Pomeroy’s death.

“The loss of Lee has left an unfillable hole in the lives of his family; he was their rock, their main breadwinner, a soulmate to his wife, and a defender, guide and mentor to his teenage son.

“I hope witnessing the conviction of both Darren Pencille and Chelsea Mitchell provides some small comfort and helps them piece their lives back together after this sudden loss.”
 
Chief Superintendent Ali Barlow from Surrey Police, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Lee Pomeroy following his tragic death on January 4.

“We recognise the profound impact his death has had on those who knew him, and we offer our sincerest condolences.”



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