Knifeman jailed for gay man's killing

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The Independent Online

A homophobic thug was jailed for at least 32 years today for a knife attack on a gay couple which left one man dead and his partner scarred for life.

David Kilcullen, 46, went to rob frail Gerald Edwards armed with a knife and determined not to leave any witnesses behind.

But he did not bank on Mr Edward's partner Chris Bevan being at home and attacked him too, the Old Bailey heard.

Judge Brian Barker, the Common Serjeant of London, said: "There was at least an undercurrent of homophobic attitude."

He jailed Kilcullen, of Bickley, south east London, for life for murder and attempted murder and told him he may well die in prison because he is so dangerous.

Housebound Mr Edwards, 59, was stabbed four times and died in his blood-covered flat in in Page Heath Villas, Bromley, south east London, in March.

Health worker Mr Bevan, 56, also suffered "catastrophic injuries" but escaped death when he fled to alert neighbours.

He was stabbed and slashed but his life was saved when he received open-heart massage at the scene after his heart stopped.

Judge Barker told Kilcullen, who had a violent past, that it was only through the skill of emergency services that he was not facing two murder charges.

"You intended both to die. It was only the presence of mind and bravery of Chris Bevan to flee, that he did not suffer the same fate as his partner."

He added: "You showed no mercy to your victims and your behaviour that night defies belief.

"They were vulnerable and you knew it. You saw an opportunity to extort money and thought you had found an easy target."

Judge Barker said he was moved by the plight of Mr Bevan, a man who lost his partner of 18 years and who is still receiving medical treatment.

He said: "You left him a broken man but you did not take away his spirit."

The court was told that Kilcullen pretended to befriend Mr Edwards, who was often sitting at a computer near a window.

Mr Bevan told the court that he went to the kitchen after hearing his partner's terrified cry, only to see Kilcullen with a "face full of hatred" and a knife in his hand.

They were forced to lie on the floor and Kilcullen began stabbing them.

Mr Bevan said: "I remember the initial impact into my skin and the soreness and my head was spinning.

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

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

The court was told that Kilcullen had previously talked of the men's relationship in a "distasteful" way.

And in a drunken 999 call the day after the attack, he referred to the couple as "two faggots".

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."