Pensioner murdered in row over iPad

Keith Passmore. (s)
Keith Passmore. (s)

A 60-year-old man was brutally murdered in his own flat in a row over an iPad, a court has heard.

Keith Passmore suffered more than 30 stab wounds inflicted by a knife and a pair of large kitchen scissors, after trading the tablet in for eight cans of lager.

Two men - Gary Burley (45) and Paul Howarth (48) - deny murder at Preston Crown Court.

In the aftermath of the killing, Howarth dialled 999 telling the operator he had found a body in Mr Passmore’s flat.

When emergency services arrived at the scene in Clifton Road, Burnley, shortly before 7pm on January 10th, they found both defendants outside the flat.

Mr Passmore was slumped in a chair in his bloodstained flat - partially on the floor.

Opening the trial Gordon Cole QC said: “The flat was heavily bloodstained. The police were called and officers attended the flat where in addition to Mr Passmore’s body they recovered a blood stained knife which was broken off at the hilt from a cutlery drawer in the kitchen.

“Also recovered was a pair of scissors which appeared to have been used in the attack.

“It appears Mr Passmore was attacked in the bedroom, was subject to further violence in the hallway and kitchen area before he was moved to the bathroom and put into the bath.

“Attempts seem to have been made to clean or wash him and then he was moved to the lounge area.”

Howarth, of Clifton Road, Burnley, and Burley, of Herbert Road, Burnely, were arrested on suspicion of murder.

Howarth maintained his right to silence but Burley told officers he had been involved in the attack on Mr Passmore - saying he punched and kicked his victim but did not use any weapon.

He said the incident happened because Mr Passmore had not sold an iPad for Howarth, instead pawning it for eight cans of Skol.

A post-mortem revealed 5ft. 4in. Mr Passmore suffered more than 30 stab wounds inflicted by more than one weapon.

He had internal fractures to his head, spine and face and penetrating wounds to his jugular and vertebral arteries.

Many of the stab wounds were around his neck and right shoulder.

At the time of the post-mortem, Mr Passmore had four times the legal driving limit of alcohol in his blood.

It is understood both the defendants and Mr Passmore had a history of alcohol abuse but Mr Cole QC said: “A drunken intent - either to kill or at the vey least inflict a really serious injury, is an intent in the mind of the defendant.

Burley also stads charged with an offence of making a threat to kill a woman - who will be a key witness in the trial.

(Proceeding)