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Faversham: Pensioner allegedly murdered by friend died from blunt force head injury

A pensioner allegedly murdered by a friend was bludgeoned to death, an inquest has heard today.

Henry Messenger, 75, known as Harry, was found dead in his home in the quiet cul-de-sac of Crispin Close in Faversham on Friday, May 19.

At the opening of his inquest at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone this morning, police officer DC Arthurs said the blunt force head injury may have happened during an assault.

Harry Messenger was murdered in his home in Crispin Close in Faversham
Harry Messenger was murdered in his home in Crispin Close in Faversham

Coroner Patricia Harding suspended the inquest as Anthony Goodwin, 62, will later appear in court charged with Mr Messenger's murder.

Goodwin, also of Crispin Close, is due to enter a plea at Maidstone Crown Court on July 18.

A trial date was set for October 30.

Adjourning the inquest, senior coroner Patricia Harding said she could not release the body until it becomes clear whether a second post-mortem examination is necessary.

The inquest comes as another neighbour told KentOnline that Mr Messenger and his alleged killer were good friends.

Danita Godden, 58, lives next door to Goodwin.

“I only moved in recently but he had come round to introduce himself and he was very friendly,” she said.

The scene of the murder in Crispin Close, Faversham
The scene of the murder in Crispin Close, Faversham

“The man across the road is Henry, or Harry as he was known.

“They used to sit in the garden together, talking and laughing.

"Tony used to go over there and be over there for most of the evening and Harry would come over here too.

“There was a hot day recently and Harry came over and was cutting Tony’s hair. They were having a real laugh. I could hear them out in the garden.”

Mrs Godden says she went shopping at 1.30pm and returned home to find police cars all over the North Preston estate.

Police taped off both bungalows and forensics officers combed the area before the cordon was removed a few days after the incident.

Mrs Godden said: “It is such a quiet cul-de-sac and everyone is so friendly, so it has come as a huge shock.”

Anthony Goodwin's house has been boarded up.
Anthony Goodwin's house has been boarded up.

Landlady of the Brents Tavern, Angie Simmons, knew Mr Messenger as he was a regular at the pub.

“He used to come in a few times a week,” she said.

“He would come in when the bar was quiet and sit and have a few drinks.

“He liked his gardening and had recently been asking me about my tomato plants.

“He was a quiet, private person who kept himself to himself, and enjoyed listening to the conversations around him as he drank a Merrydown cider or occasionally a vodka.”

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