Man who stabbed neighbours to death in Kent convicted of manslaughter

|News, Violent crime

A man who stabbed to death two of his neighbours at their home in a quiet Kent village has today (19 March) been convicted of manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

Jack Ralph, 28, turned up on the doorstep of the property in Carpenters Row, Hadlow, on the morning of Saturday 29 September 2018 and attacked Margaret Harris and her husband David. Their daughter Sharon came to their aid.

Both mother and daughter were found dead in the house when police arrived. Mr Harris survived after being stabbed in the neck, head and arm.

Ralph admitted the killings but the jury at Maidstone Crown Court rejected his defence that he was not guilty by virtue of insanity. A knife with blood on it was found in his kitchen. There was blood on his hooded top and shoes matching that of the victims.

Libby Clark, from the CPS, said: “This has been an extremely tragic case, with a mother and daughter killed in their home by their neighbour, someone they had known for many years.

“As soon as the case was brought to the CPS by the police for an initial charging decision, it was clear that the defendant’s mental state at the time of the killings would be key, as he admitted what he had done and there was strong forensic evidence against him. The verdicts in this case reflect that.

“We would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the family of the victims and particularly David Harris, who lost his wife and daughter in this horrendous attack. None of us can imagine what they have all gone through over the last few months.

“They have been regularly updated with progress on this case and they have remained fully supportive throughout. We hope that now they can start to move on with their lives.”

Notes to editors

• Libby Clark is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS South East Complex Casework Unit.
• Jack Ralph [DOB: 04/08/1990] was convicted of two charges of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and one count of attempted murder. He was made subject of a Hospital Order under s37 of the Mental Health Act 1983

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