Thomas Norman, of Town Mills Close, was sentenced today at Truro Crown Court for the murder of 48-year-old Charles ‘Charlie’ MacDonald on 9 March.
The court heard that the pair spent time together on the evening of Wednesday 8 March with CCTV showing them visiting a local fish and chip shop and store.
The pair then went to Norman’s flat in Town Mills Close where they took selfies and drank some more.
Police were called to the flat at 1pm the next day [9 March] where Mr MacDonald was found deceased with his body covered in cuts and bruises.
He had sustained widespread injuries to his face, arms, hands, chest and back, plus injuries to his legs and 17 fractures to his ribs.
Norman alleged that he has been attacked by Mr MacDonald and had struck back having lost control of himself. The court, however, was told the injuries would have required some force, many were defensive wounds and were consistent with Mr MacDonald being repeatedly stamped on or kicked while lying on the floor.
He died due to the injuries inflicted to his neck and head where Norman may have either tried to strangle his victim or possibly used a weapon.
Norman was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder when his story did not add up; Mr MacDonald’s injuries did not corroborate his account and Norman had cut and swollen knuckles plus blood stains on him.
The court heard that despite Mr Norman suggesting the incident took place in the early hours of the morning he did not call the emergency services until around 1pm. Instead he spent a number of hours in the flat with the deceased man before making phone calls claiming he acted in self-defence.
He then claimed to his mother that Mr MacDonald had left the flat and then broken back in and attempted to sexually assault him. In the struggle, Mr MacDonald fell back and was knocked out after hitting his head.
The prosecution dismissed the explanation questioning why Norman did not raise the alarm after being ‘attacked’ or even attempting to leave the flat after such as assault. He said he had fallen asleep after the incident.
Norman had denied the offence but was found guilty of the murder of Mr MacDonald following a week-long trial at Truro Crown Court.
Detective Chief Inspector Jo Hall, senior investigating officer, said: “We welcome the sentence in this case. This was a brutal assault by Norman on a man described by friends as a gentle soul. He had only lived in Cornwall for a short time having moved from Scotland around a year before.
“I would like to praise the team of detectives from the Major Crime Investigation Team who have carried out a detailed and thorough investigation to disprove Norman’s lies.
“Our thoughts are with Mr MacDonald’s family at this difficult time. While today’s sentence cannot bring Charlie back we hope that it brings some comfort to his family that justice has been done. The family have been left absolutely devastated by what has happened but have acted with the utmost dignity and have fully supported the police investigation. I would like to thank them for their support.”