Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Life term for homophobic murder

Chris Bevan (left) and Gerald Edwards
Chris Bevan and Gerald Edwards had been together for 18 years

A man has been jailed for life for murdering one man and attempting to murder his partner in a homophobic attack in south London.

Gerald Edwards, 59, was killed and Chris Bevan, 57, suffered "catastrophic injuries" at their home in Bromley in March, the Old Bailey heard.

David Kilcullen, 46, from Bromley, must serve a minimum of 32 years.

Judge Brian Barker, the Common Serjeant of London, said: "There was at least an undercurrent of homophobic attitude."

The court heard Kilcullen went to rob frail Gerald Edwards, armed with a knife and determined not to leave any witnesses behind.

But he did not bank on Mr Edwards's partner of 18 years, Chris Bevan, being at home and attacked him too.

Sentencing Kilcullen, the judge told him he may well die in prison because of the danger he posed.

Housebound Mr Edwards, 59, was stabbed four times and died in his blood-covered flat in Page Heath Villas.

Health worker Mr Bevan managed to flee the attack and alert neighbours.

He was stabbed and slashed but his life was saved when he received open-heart massage at the scene.

Mr Bevan told the court how he went to the kitchen after hearing his partner's terrified cry to see Kilcullen with a "face full of hatred" and a knife in his hand.

They were forced to lie on the floor and Kilcullen began stabbing them.

David Kilcullen
David Kilcullen attacked his victims in their home

Mr Bevan said: "I remember the initial impact into my skin and the soreness and my head was spinning.

"I thought 'My God. I have to get out of here or I will die'."

He said in an impact statement: "This mindless act of violence has robbed Gerry and me both of our lives.

"He did not deserve to lose his life in such an evil and shocking way nor did I deserve to have my life affected in such an enormous way."

The court was told that Kilcullen had previously talked of the men's relationship in a "distasteful" way.

And in a drunken 999 call the day after the attack he referred to the couple in a homophobic way.

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