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A KIDDERMINSTER man has been found guilty of murdering his housemate following a row over paying bills.

Henry Jones was jailed for life for the murder of 55-year-old Mark Beresford on March 24 this year at the house they rented in Offmore Road, Kidderminster.

Throughout the two week trial, 22-year-old Jones admitted causing the death of Mr Beresford but denied any intention to murder or cause him serious harm.

But a jury found unemployed Jones guilty of murder. He will serve a minimum of 18 years.

They had been sharing the house and the bills for three months but Jones, a former Stourport High School student, had lost his job at Malvern Collections in Bewdley in March and Mr Beresford thought he would not be able to pay his way.

Worcester Crown Court heard Mr Beresford had discovered Jones was around £4,000 in debt and had told the landlord.

Mr Beresford returned home on the evening of his death with his usual microwave meal and four cans of beer and there was an argument.

Jonas Hankin, QC, for the prosecution, told the jury, Mr Beresford had been “bludgeoned” with the metal bar.

He fell and never regained consciousness. He died in hospital the following night from a brain injury caused by a fractured skull.

Jones claimed Mr Beresford threw a punch at him in the living room of the house and he punched him back, knocking him down and kicking him while he was on the floor.

Mr Beresford went into the kitchen. Jones followed and saw him picking up a kitchen knife, Timothy Raggatt, QC, told the jury in his closing remarks.

Jones had a “momentary loss of control” and made the split second decision to pick up an 18 inch long metal bar from a toolbox and hit Mr Beresford on the back of the head, Mr Raggatt told the jury.

Following the case, West Mercia Police Detective Chief Inspector Leighton Harding said; “It was shown throughout the course of the trial that Jones lied right to the end; however the jury rejected that he acted in self defence.

"This has been a difficult trial for Mark’s family to be witness to, particularly with the lack of remorse shown by Jones. They have acted with dignity throughout which I thank them for.

“I’d also like to thank the witnesses who gave evidence and helped secure the conviction.”