Margate man found guilty of murdering homeless friend Kevin Tridgell

GUILTY: Trevor Brazier was on trial for murder at Maidstone Crown Court

A jury has found a Margate man guilty of murdering a homeless friend he had invited back to his flat.

Trevor Brazier called Kent Police at around 6am on June 2, 2018 and said he had strangled Kevin Tridgell.

When officers attended Brazier’s flat in Northdown Avenue, they found Mr Tridgell unresponsive and without a pulse so started CPR until paramedics arrived.

Mr Tridgell was taken to hospital but due to injuries from strangulation, he did not recover and died the following day.

An investigation into the death of the 38-year-old was launched by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate and found Brazier had repeatedly called the emergency services, complaining he wanted Mr Tridgell removed from his flat after he became annoyed that he had fallen asleep.

During the evening of  June 1, Brazier had invited Mr Tridgell back to his flat and they had spent the night drinking.

But by 1.50am, the South East Coast Ambulance Service was called by Brazier who gave conflicting messages that Mr Tridgell was unconscious with abnormal breathing but also drunk and fighting.

Kevin Tridgell

Police attended where Mr Tridgell was found intoxicated. Paramedics, who were already at the scene, advised he would be asleep for some time.

Brazier asked police to remove Mr Tridgell from his flat but officers explained they were unable to do so.

At 3.38am, 48-year-old Brazier had phoned Kent Police and again asked for them to remove the sleeping man from his flat, explaining he had to be up for work and didn’t want to leave Mr Tridgell alone in case he tried to steal.

Officers paid a second visit to the property, where Mr Tridgell remained asleep, and explained again to Brazier they didn’t have the powers to remove the homeless man and it would be inappropriate to do so.

A neighbour phoned police at around 4.40am after hearing Brazier shouting at someone to get out of his flat, and a man’s voice could be heard apologising in response.

At around 6am, Brazier made his third and final call to the emergency services, this time to report to police that he had killed Mr Tridgell.

He claimed he had strangled his friend in self-defence after the victim had tried to attack him with a knife.

But following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court, his claims of self-defence were not accepted by the jury, and Brazier was today (April 30) found guilty of murder. He will be sentenced on Thursday (May 2).

‘Tragic consequences’

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Jo Bird, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Our officers had spoken to Brazier several times earlier that night, explaining the right course of action for his friend was to be allowed to sleep until the morning. Mr Tridgell had not shown any signs of causing issues and in fact had not woken during previous visits to the flat by emergency services.

‘But, fuelled by alcohol, Brazier instead attacked the man he had earlier invited into his home and it had only tragic consequences.’