Margate man jailed for life for murdering homeless friend

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

A Margate killer who strangled a homeless friend he had invited back to his flat, has been sentenced to life in prison.

Trevor Brazier called Kent Police at around 6am on  June 2, 2018, and said he had killed 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 the injuries from strangulation, he did not recover and passed away 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 the sleeping man removed from his flat.

During the evening of June 1, 2018, Brazier had invited Mr Tridgell back to his flat and they had spent the night drinking.

But by 1.50am on June 2,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 wanted police to remove Mr Tridgell from his flat but officers explained they were unable to do so.

At 3.38am, 48-year-old Brazier phoned Kent Police and again asked they remove the sleeping man from his flat, claiming 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 him and it would be inappropriate to do so.

A neighbour phoned police at around 4.40am after hearing Brazier angrily 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 found guilty of murder on Tuesday (April 30).

Today (May 2) at court Brazier was given a life sentence, and must serve a minimum term of 12 years and 213 days before he can be considered for release, which takes into consideration the time he has already spent remanded in custody.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector  Chris Greenstreet, 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.”