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26 October 2016, 18:08
A man who was found guilty of murdering two people in Canterbury has been jailed for a minimum of 30 years.
Foster Christian, 54 from Dickens Avenue, Canterbury claimed he had acted in self-defence when he fatally stabbed Natasha Sadler-Ellis, 40 and Simon Gorecki, 48 and seriously injured Natasha's 20-year-old son and another 16-year-old boy.
On Tuesday 29 March, 2016 officers were called to a property in Dickens Avenue, Canterbury following reports of a disturbance. Christian had also called police claiming he had been attacked by Mr Gorecki, Ms Sandler-Ellis and three other boys. He said they had come into his room and started an argument where they hit him with beer cans and bottles.
When officers arrived, they found Mr Gorecki and Ms Sadler-Ellis fatally wounded. Both had multiple stab wounds. The two boys were treated for stab wounds.
Christian was arrested at the scene.
A subsequent investigation by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate revealed that this resulted from an argument regarding the temperature of a shower. During the evening Mr Gorecki was taking a shower when Christian turned on a tap in the kitchen which caused the temperature of the water in the shower to change. Mr Gorecki shouted at Christian. The 20-year-old was on the phone to his mother when he heard sounds of abuse so he and the boy went to Dickens Avenue. Christian was in his room and Ms Sadler-Ellis and Mr Gorecki were in the hallway downstairs.
There was shouting between Ms Sadler-Ellis, Mr Gorecki and Christian. Ms Sadler-Ellis' 20-year-old son tried to calm the situation, but Christian then shouted further abuse. Ms Sadler-Ellis then went to his room and she was followed by the others where they found Christian stood in the doorway. There was pushing and shoving between him and Ms Sadler-Ellis.
Her son tried to intervene by keeping his hand on Christian's chest. He was then struck by Christian and punches were exchanged. Christian retaliated by using a knife, which was covered by a plastic bag. Using the knife, he fatally wounded Mr Gorecki and Ms Sadler- Ellis and seriously injured her son and the 16-year-old boy.
Following a three-week trial at Maidstone Crown Court, on Friday 21 October Christian was found guilty of murdering Ms Sadler-Ellis and Mr Gorecki and of the wounding of her 20-year-old son and the 16-year-old boy.
Naomi Toro, 36 from Keyworth Mews, Canterbury and Samantha Groombridge, 19 from Athelstan Road, Canterbury both previously pleaded guilty to assisting an offender.
Toro had admitted to disposing of the knife in the River Stour. She later told police it was there.
All three were sentenced on Wednesday 26 October.
Christian was sentenced to life in prison and is to serve a minimum of 30 years.
Toro was given 1 year in prison.
Groombridge was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison.
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Nick Gossett said: 'What started as an argument took a devastating turn. Now two lives have been lost and many lives ruined.
'Although Christian never denied stabbing Ms Sadler-Ellis and Mr Gorecki it is clear from our investigation that this was not self-defence, but murder.
'Christian murdered two people and seriously assaulted another two - and by trying to help him cover up his actions, Toro and Groombridge played their part too.
His actions that night had tragic and far-reaching consequences for all involved as well as their friends and families.
'Justice has now been served on a dangerous individual, Christian is starting a prison sentence and no longer able to harm anyone. I hope it brings closure and reassurance to the victims' families who have been supportive throughout the investigation and shown a true courage.
From Kent Police