Homeless Man Gets Life For Friends Murder

A homeless man who bludgeoned his disabled friend to death has been jailed for life, Sussex Police said.

David Sole, 33, inflicted some of the worst injuries on Jon Ellison that police officers had seen during a motiveless and brutal drug and drink-fuelled attack, Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Bowles said.

The 48-year-old's body was found by friends in the bedroom of his flat in Gloucester Street, Brighton, at 2.10am on April 15 last year.

Sole was convicted and jailed at Lewes Crown Court today after a two-week trial. He must serve a minimum term of 18 years before he is considered for parole, police said.

Denise Antonia, 33, of Appledore Road, Brighton, was convicted of assisting an offender and jailed for five years.

Following the attack the couple fled to Winchester, Hampshire, where they were arrested in a car park the following day by detectives from the Sussex Police Major Crime Branch.

DCI Bowles, who led the police investigation, said: 

"Jon Ellison was killed by a man who had befriended him and who he trusted.

"His trust led to his death, as the result of a motiveless but brutal drug and drink-fuelled assault, which caused some of the worst injuries any of us have ever seen.

"Jon was a very vulnerable man, with many health and personal problems, but he was widely regarded as a kind and trusting person, known to all as Wobbly Jon.

"The violent death of anyone is a tragedy, but this was a particularly brutal and savage crime. Sole and Antonia, who was present at the scene and assisted his flight, were swiftly arrested as a result of information gathered by the investigation team, from members of the public and the close co-operation of Hampshire Constabulary."

Mr Ellison's two brothers, who live in Sussex, said:

"He is our brother and although we may not have always appreciated or understood his way of life, we always maintained contact and were devastated when we heard the news of the way he met his end.

"He did not deserve to be taken in such a brutal way. It was completely at odds with his kind and gentle spirit.

"We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Jon. We wish him peace and eternal rest."