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4 March 2010, 14:05 | Updated: 4 March 2010, 14:16
A 32 year old man from Ramsgate's been found guilty of murder and starts a life sentence.
David Alberto, of Albert Street, denied murdering 64-year-old John Joyce, of Conyngham Close in Ramsgate, but a jury at Maidstone Crown Court has reached a unanimous verdict of guilty.
He must serve at least 20 before he is eligible for parole.
A post mortem found Mr Joyce died after being stabbed 11 times in the chest, back and abdomen in his own home.
The court heard how Alberto had been enraged by the close friendship his former partner Joanna Kurn had with the father-of-three. She had known him 13 years and saw him as a father-figure.
Alberto blamed Mr Joyce for his split with Miss Kurn, who was pregnant with his child. He had threatened to kill him before.
Mr Joyce was last seen alive at 10.15pm on Tuesday 7 July last year by a neighbour.
The retired electrician had been due to attend a school concert the next day and concern was raised when he did not turn up.
Miss Kurn called Mr Joyce’s phone and a woman answered. She had found the phone discarded in a field next to Shottenden Lane, near Birchington, while out walking her dog.
A neighbour, who had a key to Mr Joyce’s property, let herself into the address and found his body on the kitchen floor. Paramedics pronounced him dead at 1.30pm that afternoon.
Alberto was arrested half an hour later. His bloodstained finger and footprints were found at Mr Alberto’s address. Mr Joyce’s blood was also found on a set of house keys belonging to Alberto.
During interview, Alberto explained away the blood by saying he had cut his thumb when he had visited Mr Joyce in June. He also said it could have been chicken’s blood.
Witnesses include Alberto’s former partner Christine Sattar. Alberto visited her home in the early hours of Wednesday 8 July 2010 saying he had killed someone. He was covered in blood and had the knife with him. He returned later and asked her to wash his clothes.
Detective Inspector Lee Whitehead, part of Kent Police’s major crime investigation team, said:
“The death of John Joyce has not only devastated his family, but the close-knit community in Conyngham Close, who regarded him as a caring, loyal and trusted friend.
“Driven by jealousy and anger, David Alberto showed scant regard for the person Mr Joyce was nor the care he afforded to his former partner and her family.
“There is no evidence to suggest Alberto forced his way into Mr Joyce’s home, so the grandfather unknowingly let in his killer. The level of violence demonstrated by Alberto was shocking.
“We are satisfied with the jury’s verdict and would like to extend our thanks to Mr Joyce’s family and friends who assisted us at what was a very difficult time to help ensure this outcome at court today.”
John Joyce’s family have released the following statement:
“This has been a long and terrible journey for our family and John’s friends to deal with. There are no words to describe the pain and heartache we feel because of his death. John was a kind and caring man and was killed by this evil, vindictive person. The guilty verdict does not take our heartache and pain away, but justice has been served.
“The police worked so hard to get this guilty verdict and our heartfelt thanks for their personal support throughout this ordeal and for securing a guilty verdict go out to Det Ch Insp David Chewter, Det Insp Lee Whitehead and Det Con Mark Butler and all of the staff in the major crime department, Mr Christopher May, prosecuting barrister, the Crown Prosecution Service team, forensics, CSI team and legal team.
“We would like to thank Mary Rubie and DC Andrew Jones, our police family liaison officers, for being a tower of strength in helping us through this terrible time. We will never forget their care, support and sensitivity throughout.”