Son so close to dad’s killer

A HOLBROOK man whose dad was murdered and dumped in a bath has told of the terrifying moment he realised he had been only yards away from the killer.

Kevin Matthews had returned to his dad John David Matthew’s flat in Chaddesden, Derby, three days after his body had been found to see if he had left any details of funeral arrangements.

That was days before a murder investigation was started because police originally thought Mr Matthews, 66, had committed suicide.

It was not until four days after Mr Matthews’ body was found that a post-mortem examination revealed he had been stabbed.

His killer, Andrew Dawson had knifed him 18 times in the face, head and neck seconds after he had answered the door of his flat.

Mr Matthews‘ body was found on July 25 last year – two weeks after the murder on July 10.

Police didn’t know the extent of Mr Matthews’ wounds at first because Dawson had returned to the scene the day after the killing and changed the victim’s clothes, meaning the knife wounds were not immediately visible.

The body had also swollen up after being left in bath water by Dawson. Before details of the extent of what had gone on were revealed, Kevin and his wife Julie went to his dad’s flat.

They later found out that Dawson was in the same building at the same time, having returned to pick up some belongings.

Kevin, 46, of Chapel Street, said: “We left the door wide open. We now know that Dawson was there at exactly the same time. It was frightening. It doesn’t do to think about what could have happened.”

Dawson also killed another man – after knifing Mr Matthews — before going on the run.

He was eventually tracked down to the Cumbrian town of Whitehaven, after police traced him using CCTV and mobile phone technology.

When officers closed in around him he tried to evade them by jumping in the sea but he was shot twice with a Taser and overpowered.

Police said that Mr Matthews did occasional chores for Dawson, including washing clothes.

On the day of the murder, Dawson hid a knife in a basket of clothes and went round to Mr Matthews’ flat.

Kevin said: “It is possible that being too soft, and helping him out, could have cost him his life.

“Everyone has to go at some point but you don’t expect it in circumstances like this.”

Dawson was out of prison on licence having already served a life-term for a murder he committed in 1981.

Kevin said: “We, as a family, have lost a very dear dad and grandad.

“He was a great friend not only to us but also to everyone who knew and worked with him.

“This has had a devastating effect on all the family – the last 12 months have been very difficult for all of us.

Kevin added that he now wanted to move on with his life.

“It has not been a good experience,” said Kevin. “We want to put it all behind us now.”

Dawson was jailed for life last week after a trial at Nottingham Crown Court.