A man who battered a homeless love rival to death in a jealous rage has been jailed for life.
Brian Sharp was told he would serve a minimum of 18 years for the murder of Tim Clayton, who he punched and kicked as he lay defenceless in his sleeping bag.
The 55-year-old, of Manor Road, Folkestone, England, had become jealous of 45-year-old Mr Clayton’s friendship with his on-off girlfriend and assaulted him as he slept on the morning of November 8 last year, Kent Police said.
During a two-week trial, the jury was told that Sharp was captured on CCTV visiting the back of Europa House in Pound Way, Folkestone, where Mr Clayton had settled down for the night.
Sharp, accompanied by his family’s Staffordshire bull terrier, attacked Mr Clayton just after 3.35am, dragging him across the floor out into the open, police said.
The attack lasted more than 12 minutes before Sharp walked away with the dog, leaving Mr Clayton sitting on the floor in a daze, the spokesman said.
CCTV showed Mr Clayton eventually getting up to check himself in the window of a nearby parked car before returning to his spot at the back of Europa House to go back to sleep.
But he never regained consciousness and was found in the morning by bank staff arriving for work at 8.20am, the spokesman continued.
They noticed extensive injuries to his face and to the back of his head and called the emergency services.
Mr Clayton was airlifted to the Royal Hospital in London but staff found he had suffered significant, non-survivable head injuries and he died on the afternoon of November 10.
While in custody, but before he knew of Mr Clayton’s death, Sharp admitted to officers he had hit him a couple of times.
A grey, long-sleeved jacket belonging to Sharp was also seized by officers and forensic analysis revealed a sample of blood near the right cuff matched the DNA profile of Mr Clayton.
Sharp was jailed today after being found guilty of killing Mr Clayton by a jury at Canterbury Crown Court last week.
Mr Clayton’s parents, John and Anna, said: “On November 10 2013, our precious son Tim was taken from us and we are left with a great void in our lives.
“His children have lost a dear and loving father and we now have to start to live the rest of our lives with an important member of the family missing.”’
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fotheringham said: “This was a violent, callous and premeditated attack on a vulnerable man in the middle of the night.
“Sharp became consumed by jealousy after learning of his girlfriend’s friendship with Mr Clayton and he went out that night to hurt him.
“He visited the scene looking for him earlier on in the night but he was unsuccessful.
“He then came back and punched and kicked the victim as he slept, leaving him with horrendous injuries. Mr Clayton didn’t have a chance.”