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Breaking Bad-inspired killer George Knights filmed himself partying after murdering Stephen 'Ginger' Chapman in Rochester and dumping body in acid-filled wheelie bin

This is the moment callous murderer George Knights partied with friends moments after knifing a dad-of-five through the head and dumping his body in an acid-filled wheelie bin.

The 19-year-old body builder took cocaine and bragged about the killing after leaving Stephen 'Ginger' Chapman's body at his home in Delce Road, Rochester.

The next day he was identified as one of the last people to see Mr Chapman alive but during a call with police denied any involvement in his disappearance and even refused to give his surname, saying he wanted to "stay out of it" and "would never do anything to him".

He later phoned police to claim he was the victim of a burglary after a "group of men" stormed his address.

In reality Mr Chapman's desperate friends and family had gone in search of the 38-year-old, turning up at Knights' home and forcing entry out of concern for him.

That prompted Knights to flee and dial 999.

Mr Chapman's badly damaged body was later found in the conservatory submerged in a neighbour's wheelie bin, which had to be removed by the fire brigade.

Knights speaks about Mr Chapman's disappearance

Knights was initially arrested on suspicion of drugs offences after substantial quantities of Class A and B narcotics were found in the property alongside blood stained clothing, but the grim discovery saw him rearrested and later charged with murder.

Further investigations found knife-obsessed Knights had got a tattoo of a weapon similar to the military dagger used in the brutal attack on his neck in the week before Mr Chapman's death.

Knights' tattoo
Knights' tattoo

Further probes found CCTV of the heavily-built killer carrying a neighbour's wheelie bin to his home to avoid anyone hearing him.

But despite four bottles of sulphuric acid being used in an effort to dispose of Mr Chapman's body forensic technology meant a post-mortem could be carried out, with a pathologist having to work while wearing a gas mask.

Today Knights was found guilty after a jury deliberated for just under six hours.

He remained impassive as the verdict was returned at the end of a month-long trial and now faces a mandatory life sentence.

Judge Philip Statman told Knights he was concerned with the level of danger the keep fit and martial arts enthusiast posed to the public.

Knights phones police during the 'burglary'

He told him: "I find this case extremely disturbing" before ordering a psychiatric examination before deciding the minimum sentence Knights will have to serve before being considered for parole.

The judge then commended DC James Greenidge and his fellow detectives for the work they had done putting the case together and said the county should be proud of them.

He then turned to the wife of the victim, Rebecca Leader, who came to give evidence within days giving birth to her third child - the baby Stephen never got a chance to hold.

She remained in court every day - having to listen to appalling details of how her partner was stabbed through the head with a military dagger before his body was put in a stolen wheelie bin and covered in sulphuric acid.

Ms Leader wept as the judge said she should be commended for the dignity she had shown in listening to the horrifying details.

George Knights, 19, murdered Stephen 'Ginger' Chapman
George Knights, 19, murdered Stephen 'Ginger' Chapman
George Knights has been convicted of murder
George Knights has been convicted of murder

The trial had previously heard how Knights - a self-styled shares trader - turned his kitchen into a drugs factory to produce amphetamines.

He bought a £300 pill presser from China and stashed sulphuric acid in the kitchen.

He had an obsession with knives - having a dagger, a machete and a knife from Crete in his house.

He also bought and sold drugs - which was how he came into contact with Mr Chapman - who he then lured to his home in October last year.

After plunging the knife into his victim's skull, he put the body into a wheelie-bin which he had carried up the road before dowsing it with acid - an incident inspired by an episode from American crime drama Breaking Bad, with which Knights was obsessed.

He will now be sentenced in September.

Read more from this trial

Stephen Chapman's body was found in a fetal position, upside down in a wheelie bin and doused with sulphuric acid, the court heard
Stephen Chapman's body was found in a fetal position, upside down in a wheelie bin and doused with sulphuric acid, the court heard

Detective Chief Inspector Gavin Moss, the senior investigating officer for the case, said: "Knights is a callous killer who has robbed Stephen Chapman of his life and deprived his family of a future with him.

"He has shown an appalling disregard for life and, on top of this, his efforts to dispose of the body deprived Mr Chapman’s family of an opportunity to see him for a final time.

"His lack of remorse is clearly demonstrated by his decision to attend a party shortly after committing the offence and is further aggravated by the fact he chose to make Mr Chapman’s loved ones go through the ordeal of a trial.

"He is a clear and obvious danger to the public and I am pleased that our investigation has led to him being convicted.

"Nothing is ever going to undo the harm Knights has caused, but I sincerely hope Mr Chapman’s family can feel a sense of reassurance from this result."

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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