Man jailed for Liskeard murder

From Devon & Cornwall Police:

A 46-year-old man from Liskeard has today, Wednesday 12 August, been jailed for murder.

Carl Smythe, of Varley Lane, Liskeard, previously denied fatally stabbing 20-year-old Damien Bendelow on 26 January 2020, but was convicted at Truro Crown Court of murder following trial.

Smythe has been sentenced to life in prison for murder, to serve a minimum of 21 years, having been found guilty by the jury.

During the evening of Saturday 25 January Damien Bendelow and Carl Smythe, who were not previously known to each other, had been at the White Horse Public House with their respective friends. Whilst there, an altercation occurred and Smythe assaulted Damien by punching him, before going on to assault other people. Smythe was subsequently removed from the premises.

Police were called at around 00:40am on Sunday 26 January to the Cattle Market Car Park in Liskeard following reports that a man had been stabbed in the chest. Damien was located at the scene by emergency services having sustained six stab wounds to his chest and torso. He was treated at the scene and taken to Derriford hospital where, as a result of his injuries, he sadly died a short time later.

Following the altercation, Smythe fled the scene on foot which lead to a widespread search of the area by officers in order to locate him. He discarded clothing as he fled which was later located and seized by officers but the weapon was not found.

Smythe was located near Liskeard train station shortly after 1.30pm on 26 January and was arrested on suspicion of murder. He was taken into police custody where he was interviewed and claimed that he had acted in self-defence. Following a number of enquiries, he was charged with murder the following day and remanded in custody.

The trial began at Truro Crown Court on Monday 27 July and on Tuesday 12 August the jury found Smythe guilty of murder. He was sentenced today [13 August] by the judge to 21.

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Steve Hambly from the Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “We welcome the verdict and sentence today of Carl Smythe, whom will now face life in prison having killed a young man at the start of his adult life.

“The murder of Damien in the early hours of 26January has left his family and friends devastated at the senseless loss of life, and the town of Liskeard shocked at what has happened. Damien’s family have conducted themselves with dignity from the very start and through the trial process, and I really do hope that this provides some closure for them.

“Carl Smythe was prepared to use a weapon in what was a few moments of extreme violence that ended Damien’s life – something he has not shown any remorse for. This case provides a very real warning to those prepared to carry and use a knife that, if you do so, you can expect the full weight of the law to be used to keep the wider population safe.”

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