Published: 07:22, 30 March 2017
A man found guilty of the brutal choke hold murder of a Pokemon Go fan is due to be sentenced today.
Carl Gregory was put in a “choke hold” and strangled after he insulted his ex-girlfriend on a social networking site.
He had posted an offensive picture relating to Chloe Lemare on Facebook and called her a slag, Maidstone Crown Court heard.
Now 27-year-old John Dickson has been convicted of murdering Mr Gregory on the evening of October last year, and is due to be sentenced today.
The jury yesterday delivered its unanimous verdict after nine hours, and minutes later cleared Christopher Pollard of murder and manslaughter.
Pollard wiped away tears of relief after the verdicts were given. He was taken to the cells where he was due to be released.
The court had heard a row erupted after Pollard arranged to meet Carl Gregory in a car park outside Hobbycraft at the Link shopping centre, Broadstairs, on the evening of October 4 last year.
Pollard, 20, took his friend John Dickson, 27, with him and they ended up making a joint attack on Mr Gregory, it was alleged.
Prosecutor Philippa McAtasney QC said Pollard kicked the victim with steel cap boots and Dickson held him in a choke hold, which led to his death.
Dickson, of Northdown Road, Cliftonville, and Pollard, of Brimstone Hill, Meopham, denied murder.
Miss McAtasney had previously told the jury of eight women and four men: “The prosecution case is that both these defendants murdered Carl Gregory.
“It is the prosecution case that in the course of the attack Carl Gregory was placed in a choke hold and asphyxiated for such a period of time that he became unconscious and sadly died.
“Since their arrest and detention both defendants have sought to absolve themselves of responsibility or shift the blame to the other for Carl Gregory’s death."
“The prosecution say both these defendants committed the crime together.”
Mr Gregory, 20 and from Ramsgate, had been diagnosed with ADHD at a young age. He was said to enjoy computer games, music and football.
He met Miss Lemare about 18 months before his death. The relationship ended in August last year but they remained in contact and played Pokemon Go together.
Pollard lived with his girlfriend and a month before the alleged attack Dickson moved in with them. Dickson was head gardener at Tudor House museum in the town and Pollard also worked there.
After the verdicts, Detective Sergeant Ross Gurden of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: "This was a tragic death of a popular young man who had his whole life in front of him.
"Carl Gregory is sorely missed by his family and friends due to the actions of John Dickson, who went out of his way to confront him. I hope today’s outcome is of comfort to all those who loved Carl.
"I hope this case reinforces the message that the use of violence to resolve issues can result in life changing consequences. Dickson is a young man who will now serve a considerable length of time behind bars as a result of a complete disregard of the consequences of his actions."