Jail for the murderer of an elderly man in his own home in Kent


A man has today (29 September) been jailed for life, with a minimum term of 28 years, for the murder of an elderly man in his home in Kent.

Roy Blackman, 73, was beaten to death in March 2016 after he interrupted a group of burglars at his bungalow in Biddenden.

The DNA of Mark Love was found on a tap in the upstairs bathroom and the bath was full of water, indicating it may have been run by Mr Blackman's killers and used to wash items that could be linked to the attack. In police interviews, Love consistently denied ever having been in the property.

Among the items stolen were a safe that is likely to have contained a significant amount of cash and a safe, which could have held in excess of £100,000.

In the days after Mr Blackman's murder, Love was seen spending large amounts of cash at the Designer Outlet Centre in Ashford, where he bought new clothes and disposed of the ones he was wearing.

Love was today found guilty at Maidstone Crown Court of Mr Blackman's murder and a separate charge of aggravated burglary at the home of a couple in Northiam, on the East Sussex/Kent border, in February 2016. In that attack, four men dressed in black broke into the house and demanded money. The couple were then tied up and attacked, before the men escaped with an estimated £10,000 and two guns.

Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East Jaswant Narwal said: "It was clear from the evidence that Love was part of a group that carefully planned both burglaries well in advance, identifying properties which they knew were likely to contain significant quantities of cash.

One was a terrifying ordeal for a couple at their home, while the other led to the tragic death of a quiet and private man who was the victim of a violent and brutal attack. The level of violence was truly appalling but today Mark Love has been brought to justice for his crimes."

Love was also today sentenced to 12 years for aggravated burglary, to run concurrently with the life term.