Father And Son Found Guilty Of Murder After Killing A Thief In A Vigilante Attack In Suffolk, UK

A man and his 19-year-old son have been found guilty of murder after they killed a suspected thief that had been targeting homes and cars in their local area. The dad was found with a double-edged knife while the son was carrying a 27-inch ninja sword.


David King & His 19-year-old son, Edward, have been found guilty of murder
David King & His 19-year-old son, Edward, have been found guilty of murder

David King and his 19-year-old son, Edward King, have been found guilty of murdering Neil Charles after they apparently watched him trying to open the doors of homes and cars in Bury St Edmunds in June 2021.


On June 20, Neil Charles was stabbed in the street and died two days later while in hospital. A pathologist confirmed he had suffered a 12cm knife wound to his chest.



The jury at Ipswich Crown Court was told how officers had found David King in Winsford Road and the injured victim Neil Charles, further along the road.


It was said that the victim had been walking in the opposite direction of the Kings' house when he was killed.


David King had been carrying a double-edged knife, similar in appearance to a dagger, while his son, Edward King, 19, was carrying a 27-inch ninja sword.


David made a call to the police at 3:55 am, in the phone call he claimed that a man had been attempting to steal from his car on the Moreton Hall estate in the town.


Neil Charles was killed by David & Edward King
Neil Charles was killed by David & Edward King

The 55-year-old told the call handlers that he had attempted to stop Charles, who had run off, and explained that he had a knife with him and had injured the suspected thief before he fled. David told the jury that Charles had run into his knife. Both David, and Edward King, denied killing Neil Charles intentionally.


The prosecution told Ipswich Crown Court how the father and son duo had been out, armed with weapons, to hunt down Neil Charles in an act of vigilantism, and they had not called the police after spotting the thief on CCTV.


It was David King's knife that killed Charles, with Edward's sword inflicting a horizontal wound above the 47-year-old suspected thief's knee. The sword was also used to slash the tyre on Charles's bicycle.



David King was arrested at the scene, and his son, Edward, was picked up by police later in the day.


The prosecution read out text messages between the father and son that showed they had a "fascination" with weapons, and discussed their intention to deal with any potential criminals themselves, after a dramatic increase in thefts locally.


Both David King and Edward King were found guilty of murder on Monday by a unanimous verdict. They have both been remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.


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