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Murderer Brian Sharp jailed for life after beating to death love rival Tim Clayton at Europa House in Folkestone

Jealous murderer Brian Sharp was jailed for life today for the savage attack on his sleeping victim.

The 51-year-old father became obsessive about an imagined affair between his lover and his victim Tim Clayton.

Leaving his girlfriend asleep, the cowardly bully took his pet Staffordshire bull terrier Tyson as company in the early hours and went hunting the object of his burning hatred.

Tim Clayton died in hospital after being found beaten in a car park
Tim Clayton died in hospital after being found beaten in a car park

In a drunken rage he went looking to settle the score...and then callously left him to die.

Today Judge Adele Williams told him he was a “cold-hearted callous” killer who had show indifference to his victim’s fate.

Sharp stood passively as the judge told him he would have to serve 18 years before he will be considered for parole, adding: “But you may never be released!

"This was cold calculated violence and you have shown no remorse.”

Mr Clayton – who was just a friend to the reforming alcoholic Samantha Allen – was sleeping rough behind the back of the NatWest Bank in Europa House.

As two other men slept off their drunken stupors nearby, completely oblivious to the dawn attack, Mr Clayton was dragged out of his sleeping bag by Sharp using a metal dog lead.

A jury at Canterbury Crown Court then heard how Sharp then beat his defenceless victim so hard he was found collapsed on the ground by bank workers the following day on November 9 last year.

Folkestone man Tim Clayton was found badly injured behind Europa House. Picture: @Kent_999s
Folkestone man Tim Clayton was found badly injured behind Europa House. Picture: @Kent_999s

Sharp, of Manor Road, Folkestone then casually walked home with the dog and later went out drinking as doctors fought to save Mr Clayton’s life at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

In the witness box, the thug, who had denied murder, tried to claim that he suspected his victim of stealing his records.

But the truth was the attack had nothing to do with vinyls...and all to do with Sharp’s domineering obsession.

Despite endless denials from Sharp when arrested as he tried to paint a picture of his girlfriend's mercurial lifestyle, she revealed the dark side of her lover.

Ms Allen told the court of her life at the hands of this controlling, manipulative bully and her beatings.

Just a week before the lethal attack, police officers had discovered Ms Allen cowering underneath covers at her home..pitifully begging for help on the telephone to paramedics.

Brian Sharp, found guilty of murdering Tim Clayton
Brian Sharp, found guilty of murdering Tim Clayton

She told the jury how Sharp didn’t like her having friends..including Mr Clayton who stayed as a lodger at the flat from time to time.

“Brian hit me. That was an argument about my relationship with other men. He didn’t like me being friends with other men. It just got out of hand.

“I had probably had too much to drink. He started getting very agitated and getting crosser and crosser. It was like he wasn’t the same person.

“He hit me on my back on my legs with his fists. He hit me hard enough to make me cry.

"He then put his hands around my neck so I couldn’t breathe properly. He terrified me,” she added.

But she said that the obsessive lover would: “follow me to the phone saying: ‘If you are going out I am coming with you’. Tim was a massive problem for him.

“ Brian kept saying: ‘It’s either him or me’.

“He hated him (Tim) with a vengeance. It was ‘Tim this, Tim that’. Yet Tim and I were just like brother and sister.”

Part of the brutal attack was caught by CCTV cameras at the back of Europa House and played several times to the jury.

It revealed Sharp and the dog near Mr Clayton and revealed in sickening details the repeated blows to Mr Clayton’s head – a man he knew had suffered an previous injury which had left him epileptic.

Brian Sharp in the custody suite
Brian Sharp in the custody suite

Sharp and his pet then leave at 3.40 am..but return a minute later and launches another assault with punches and kicks to Mr Clayton’s head.

Five minutes later, Sharp leaves and the battered Mr Clayton is seen getting to his feet and looking at his injuries in a car wing mirror.

The CCTV camera captures him wandering around until he walks under the overhang over the back of the bank at 3.51 am...five-and-a-half hours later his barely alive body is found by bank staff.

Sharp was arrested the day after the death and told he was going to be questioned about causing grievous bodily harm – although doctors had pronounced Mr Clayton dead in a London hospital two hours earlier.

Tim Clayton suffered serious head injuries in Folkestone
Tim Clayton suffered serious head injuries in Folkestone

Sharp is alleged to have told officers: “I know what this is all about. It’s about beating Tim up isn’t it?

"This was cold calculated violence and you have shown no remorse” - Judge Adele Williams

“I admit it. He deserves it. He smashed up my records. If you do a wrong-un, expect a wrong-un. I believe in Karma..I gave him a couple of smacks, I admit it. He deserves it. I would do it again.

“I didn’t hit him hard, just a couple of slaps..anyway.”

But the jury didn’t hear of his violent background - he was convicted in 1978 of inflicting GBH and an assault causing actual bodily harm.

By 1986 he was back before Maidstone Magistrates and ordered to do community service for another assault and causing criminal damage.

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