Thug arrested in Derbyshire for murdering pensioner he wrongly believed was a paedophile is jailed for life

Darren Barnes
Darren Barnes

A violent thug who murdered a pensioner after battering him over the head with a bottle of WHISKY because he wrongly thought he was a paedophile has been jailed for life.

Darren Barnes, 48, smashed a bottle of booze over the head of 65-year-old Edwin Bradley before he was stamped on and kicked to death on his living room floor.

Edwin Bradley

Edwin Bradley

The dad-of-one suffered catastrophic injuries during the brutal attack and was found under a stack of furniture at his flat in Walsall, on July 6 last year.

Police were alerted after concerned neighbours said they had not heard from the victim for a several days and found his decomposed body inside.

He had suffered 23 fractures to his rib cage with the sharp ends of the damaged bones causing fatal internal injuries as well as bruising to his skull.

Detectives found that Barnes had struck up an acquaintance with Mr Bradley, who he met in a pub, only weeks before his death.

When he was arrested in Matlock, on July 27 last year he told officers while being driven to a police station: "He deserved it. He was a nonce."

But a court heard although Barnes believed the victim had indecent images of children on his phone - the accusation turned out to be false.

Barnes, of no fixed address, was found guilty of murder at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Wednesday and jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 18 years.

Detective Chief Inspector Edward Foster, from West Midlands Police, said after the case: “This is a tragic situation where a man was killed by someone he trusted.

“Although this sentence will never bring him back, we hope it will provide some justice for his family.

“Barnes was a callous murderer who attempted to flee, but I am satisfied that he will now spend many years behind bars.”.

Samantha Dixon, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “The offender did not return to his home address after the first few days of July and returned to Derby, spending time at a variety of addresses.

"Upon his arrest he made unsolicited admissions to the murder and provided an explanation for why he carried out the killing.

“Barnes later denied this claiming that he was joking. However, the CPS was able to provide evidence to support the accuracy of that account which contributed to the strength of the prosecution case.

“This was a vicious case involving an unprovoked attack. He will now face the consequences of his actions.

“Our thoughts are today with the family and friends of the victim.”