CARDIFF, Wales – A lonely 64-year-old widower called a “lost soul” after his wife died in 2008 turned to a gay website for companionship, a fateful decision that led to his brutal murder in January.
David Evans, a retired RAF firefighter from the town of Pentyrch near Cardiff, was punched, cut and then viciously stabbed 72 times in his home, leaving the knife blade bent to the left. His killer repeatedly stomped him in the face until it was unrecognizable. The killer also used his cell phone to record a 2-minute video of the gruesome murder scene, which the prosecution said was too horrific to be shown to jurors.
Bleddyn King, 19, was convicted Monday after a trial lasting 10 days. He was sentenced to at least 28 years in prison.
At the sentencing, the judge, Justice MacDuff, called King “evil and dangerous.” He said the blond teenager, who as a weightlifter is powerfully built, gained the confidence of Evans while chatting on the Internet. Evans eventually invited King to visit his home, where the murder occurred.
The judge was quoted in U.K. media:
“You targeted this kind mild man because he was not a match for you. He lived alone and would be easy pickings.
“You punched, cut and stabbed him to death. It was a vicious, brutal attack – the fear and pain he must have felt in his dying minutes is unimaginable.
“It is wickedness beyond comprehension – you are evil and dangerous.”
Although the video was never shown to the jury, both the prosecutor and the judge talked about what they saw and heard in it.
The prosecutor described the video as such: “After he was dead, King videoed his body wile giving a dialogue of what he had done and why he was doing it. … He made the video to scare people he may have owed money to. The film was made to instill fear in somebody else.”
The judge added: “That recording is a chilling record of your wickedness. You filmed yourself stamping repeated on Mr. Evans’s face as you shouted obscenities.”
The jury also learned the King killed his victim’s cat and set his home on fire after the murder.
Covered in blood, King fled the house after stealing Evans’s car and credit cards. He was stopped by police shortly afterward after an off-duty officer reported seeing a man driving erratic late at night.
The Evans family attended the trial, and afterward issued a statement about Internet safety.
“My father met his murderer over the internet, which I hope will serve as a warning to others who meet strangers in this way,” said Richard Evans, who noted that the victim “was a gentle and loving father, brother, uncle and grandfather.”