A Cliftonville man who murdered popular dad Mark Miles in an attack with a broken bottle last October has been jailed for life.
During the early hours of Saturday, October 12, 2019, Richard McAuley fatally injured 44-year-old Mark Miles at a property in Sandhurst Place.
The two men had been socialising with friends and family at the property when Mr Miles challenged McAuley on several inappropriate comments he had made that evening towards some of the women present. In response, McAuley picked up a bottle and smashed it before using it to attack Mr Miles.
Kent Police officers attended along with the South East Coast Ambulance Service but the victim had suffered serious neck injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
A woman, who had tried to intervene during the attack, also suffered an injury to her arm caused by McAuley.
An investigation was launched into the disturbance by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, and McAuley of Northdown Road, Cliftonville, was arrested and charged with murder the following day.
At Maidstone Crown Court, 23-year-old McAuley denied the charge. On July 17, after a trial lasting five days, the jury took just over an hour to find him guilty of murder. He was also found guilty of the wounding with intent of a woman during the same incident.
He was sentenced today (July 22) to life imprisonment, and must serve 16 years in prison before he will be considered for parole.
Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Ross Gurden said: “That night had been one of socialising and friendship for the victim, until McAuley arrived and things took a truly tragic turn.
“In a violent rage McAuley attacked the unarmed man – and then rather than stay and call for an ambulance – he fled the scene, leaving his victim to die.
“My thoughts are with Mr Miles’ family who have had to face the devastating consequences of losing a loved one, and I thank them for their strength and support throughout the investigation and subsequent trial.”