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Knifeman facing life for attack on gay couple

A violent thug is facing a life sentence after being found guilty today of a "monstrous" knife attack on a gay couple.

The attack at their home left one dead and the other fighting for his life, the Old Bailey heard.

Frail Gerald Edwards, 59, was stabbed four times and died in the blood-covered flat in March.

Chris Bevan, 56, also suffered "catastrophic injuries" but escaped death when he fled and alerted neighbours in Page Heath Villas, Bromley, south-east London.

He was stabbed and received open-heart massage at the scene after his heart stopped.

Heavy-drinking David Kilcullen, 46, went there to burgle the couple - but had not expected Mr Bevan, a health care worker, to be at home.

Kilcullen, of nearby Bickley, who had a history of violence, was found guilty of murder and attempting murder.

He was remanded in custody to be sentenced tomorrow.

Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons said outside court: "By cheating death and by overcoming his physical problems to give evidence at court, Chris Bevan has seen Kilcullen brought to justice.

"Sadly the injuries caused to Chris that day are life changing and will serve along with the other mental scars to remind him forever of Kilcullen's monstrous actions."

Mr Bevan, who gave evidence by video-link, re-lived the horror of the attack in court as a doctor stood by.

He said he went to the kitchen after hearing his partner scream. Kilcullen, his face "full of hatred", was at the kitchen door with a serrated knife in his hand.

Kilcullen told them: "Lie down or I will kill you" before stabbing them.

Mr Bevan said: "I remember the initial impact into my skin and the soreness and my head was spinning and I was thinking 'This isn't happening. Please somebody come and help us'."

He added: "I thought 'My God. I have to get out of here or I will die'."

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, told the court: "He intended to kill and he hoped to leave no evidence of his presence at the scene.

"You may conclude that finance was the motive."

Kilcullen had also left the broken knife at the scene. It was found to be one of a pair bought at Poundland.

Mr Edwards and Mr Bevan "had lived together for many years and were in a stable and settled relationship".

Mr Edwards was in "extremely poor health" and spent most of his time on his computer or looking out of the window.

"The men lived a quiet, peaceful existence," said Mr Wright.

Kilcullen had struck up a conversation with Mr Edwards and visited on a previous occasion when he met Mr Bevan.

He told Mr Edwards that he knew he was in a gay relationship with Mr Bevan.

"He inferred in a distasteful way that he realised Mr Bevan was Mr Edward's partner," said Mr Wright.

Mr Bevan said the loss of his partner of 18 years had turned his life upside down.

He said in an impact statement: "This mindless act of violence has robbed Gerry and me both of out lives.

"He did not deserve to lose his life in such an evil and shocking way, nor did I deserve to have my life affected in such an enormous way."