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A man found guilty of murder after stabbing his victim 54 times was sentenced this morning to 20 years' imprisonment and will remain on licence for the rest of his life. He will not be considered for parole until he is considered safe to be released into society.
Thomas Kearney, 39 (31.7.74) was convicted at the Old Bailey of killing 35-year-old David Remmer at the hostel they both lived at in Talgarth Road, West Kensington.
On Thursday 13 December police and the London Ambulance Service were called to the hostel to reports of a man injured in a bedsit on the top floor.
David Remmer, who worked for a removal company, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The court heard that Mr Remmer had been planning to go on a holiday of a lifetime to Thailand to visit his uncle. He was due to fly from Heathrow at 22:00hrs on Thursday 6 December.
He left his flat that afternoon and met two friends in a local pub. He had a lot to drink, telling his friends he was nervous about flying.
He later boarded the flight but was asked to leave due to his intoxicated state. Mr Remmer returned home, arriving at 00:11hrs on Friday 7 December. CCTV footage shows he had trouble getting back into the building as he did not have his keys and ended up trying to force a door.
Kearney, who lived in the top floor bedsit, came downstairs to investigate the noise. The two men then went out, returning at 03:28 and going up to Kearney's flat.
Mr Remmer was never seen alive again.
Kearney left the address at 06:00hrs and didn't return.
The alarm was raised by Mr Remmer's sister who was concerned that he had not arrived in Thailand. Mr Remmer's body was discovered by hostel staff who alerted police and a murder enquiry was immediately set in place.
A post-mortem examination showed the victim had 54 stab wounds to his torso, back and head. A large amount of cash - £3,000 - that he had been planning to take to Thailand, was missing. A large blood-covered kitchen knife was found at the scene along with shoes Kearney had been seen wearing on the CCTV, also covered in Mr Remmer's blood.
Enquiries revealed Kearney had fled to Ireland via ferry on 9 October. Further investigations revealed he had been seen with a large amount of money as he bought a mobile phone, clothes and toiletries before he left London.
He was detained on a European arrest warrant in Dublin on 2 January 2013 and extradited to the UK on 24 January 2013. He was immediately charged with murder.
Investigating officer Detective Inspector Liz Baker said:
"Only Thomas Kearney knows what went on inside his flat but it' is clear that both men were both extremely intoxicated and Mr Remmer was the victim of a sustained and ferocious attack with a large knife and many of the injuries were inflicted using severe force. Kearney's intent to kill is clear. The trial judge His Honour Judge Wide could not be sure that Kearney had murdered for financial gain; however he admitted that his first actions, after David died, was to search his pockets, take all the money that he had on him in readiness for his holiday and leave the building.
He spent the next few days drinking with his family and friends and buying clothes before fleeing to Ireland a few days after the murder. He was traced after detailed police enquiries and brought back to face justice. The jury found him guilty by a unanimous verdict, rejecting any idea of self-defence, provocation or diabetic episode."