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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Homeless Peter Clement guilty of killing rough sleeper David Wilkes after attack in Dane John Gardens in Canterbury

23 January 2014
by Paul Hooper

A second man has today been convicted of the brutal punishment killing of alcoholic David Wilkes in Canterbury' Dane John Gardens.

Lloyd Thorne, 22, change his plea to guilty before the end of the prosecution case at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday.

Now a jury has taken just two hours before finding his friend Peter Clement of the same manslaughter charge.

Homeless David Wilkes died in hospital days after being attacked in a Canterbury park

Homeless David Wilkes died in hospital days after being attacked in a Canterbury park

The vicious attacks took place after Clement accused Mr Wilkes of being a wife beater – and Thorne then joined in as his victim lay helpless on the ground.

Both men, who have no fixed addresses, have now been remanded in custody for the preparation of psychiatric and probation reports before sentencing in April.

During the case, the jury heard from several witnesses who saw Clement begin the attack - punching and kicking Mr Wilkes as he sat drinking in in the park.

Homeless Peter Clement was found guilty of manslaughter

Homeless Peter Clement was found guilty of manslaughter

Lloyd Thorne changed his manslaughter plea to guilty

Lloyd Thorne changed his manslaughter plea to guilty

Polish-born Lukasz Michalski had revealed: "I thought I heard a cracking noise as if something had cracked. I think that was his skull."

Speaking with the aid of an interpreter, Mr Michalski added: "One of the men was asking why he punched the woman and the man was saying: 'Leave me alone'.

"Lloyd was wanting to punish the man for hitting that woman."


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He added: "They were punching him (Mr Wilkes) in the face, maybe eight to 10 times until he passed out. They were also all kicking him in the face and chest.

"Lloyd kicked him two or three times. I told Lloyd to leave him alone otherwise he would get himself in trouble. He just didn't reply. He was just being aggressive."

A policeman guards the scene in Dane John Gardens in Canterbury

A policeman guards the scene in Dane John Gardens in Canterbury

He told the jury Mr Wilkes was then shaken by the men and told to leave the park.

"He stood up because he said he wanted to go. He started to walk away, but was punched again. I told Lloyd again to leave him because he had had enough.

"I said: 'You have punished him for hitting the woman, we should go'."

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