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Homeless man jailed for life for killing good Samaritan

Mary Cash and Karl Pound.
Mary Cash and Karl Pound.

A homeless man who killed a Good Samaritan who offered him a place to stop for the night has been jailed for life after admitting the "senseless" crime.

Karl Pound pleaded guilty to murdering 54-year-old Robert Chester while his co-accused Mary Cash was convicted of manslaughter for her part in their victim's death.

Mr Chester was stabbed eight times at his Northampton home on October 8 last year, and then set alight in a bid to destroy evidence.

Northamptonshire Police labelled the killing a "senseless attack on a man who had shown only kindness towards Pound and Cash".

When firefighters arrived at the address in Rothersthorpe Road they discovered the victim dead in his lounge.

Police were able to link Mr Chester's attackers to the scene through DNA on blood-stained clothing.

Cash claimed Pound stabbed Mr Chester in a row over a £10 note, while Pound alleged Cash killed their victim because of a drunken bout of bad temper.

However Pound changed his plea to guilty after the first day of the trial at Northampton Crown Court, while Cash - who denied murder - was convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter by a jury.

Pound, 51, was sentenced on Wednesday to a minimum of 19 years in jail while Cash, 39, was handed a 10-year sentence, two-thirds of which must be served in prison.

Detective Chief Inspector Louise Hemingway, of Northamptonshire Police, said: "This was a completely senseless attack on a man who had shown only kindness towards Pound and Cash.

"The level of violence shown towards Mr Chester, over a seemingly insignificant argument, was shocking and difficult to comprehend.

"Robert was a quiet man who kept himself to himself. His act of kindness towards two people in need proved to be a fatal mistake and he has paid the ultimate price."

She added: "I welcome the sentences handed down today by the judge and hope Robert's family can gain some comfort from them."