Gateshead Man Sentenced For Landlord Murder

29 January 2013, 10:05 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

35 year old Karl Bestford's been given a life sentence, with a minimum of 22 years, for killing his landlord in a row over unpaid rent.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Karl Bestford stabbed Simon Meech 11 times and beheaded him with a kitchen knife while he was still alive.

Sentencing Bestford, the judge told him:
"In the last text message you sent your wife before your arrest you told her you were going to prison for a very long time.

You told her that because you knew you unlawfully murdered Simon Meech.

Unhappily since then you have told lie after lie since then to try and avoid the consequences of your actions.

And today you begin the long sentence you predicted."

Mr Meech had arranged to meet his tenant at the flat he rented from him in Rayleigh Grove in Bensham, Gateshead, on the 28th of July 2012.

Bestford stabbed Meech a number of times before attempting to sever his victim's head.

He then wrapped Mr Meech's lower body in bin liner and tried to get rid of his body.

Bestford gave up and drove away from the scene of the murder in Mr Meech's car - leaving his body in the kitchen surrounded by cleaning products.

About an hour later Bestford pulled over in a lay-by on the A69 and called the police to hand himself in and was arrested shortly after.

Bestford admitted killing Meech but denied murder, saying he acted in self-defence.