A man from Luton has been convicted and jailed for life after killing a vulnerable 55-year-old man in his own home.
Meuric Roberts, who had severe disabilities, was found dead in his flat in Hitchin Road on April 24 after being repeatedly stabbed.
Simon Lewis, 39, of Wesley House, Chapel Street, was today found guilty of his murder during an appearance at Luton Crown Court. He has been jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 31 and a half years.
At around 3pm on April 24, a relative of Mr Roberts visited his flat as she had not been able to get hold of him and his family was concerned.
On arrival, she found his front door open and Mr Roberts lying dead on the floor by the side of the sofa with a duvet and pillows laid over him. She could see he had suffered injuries and immediately called the emergency services.
A postmortem revealed that Mr Roberts had died of stab wounds to the neck and chest.
Lewis had been seen on CCTV in the immediate vicinity of the flat two days before the body was found.
A close friend of Mr Roberts stated that Lewis had borrowed close to £400 from Mr Roberts and had gone back to ask for more, threatening to blackmail him using false allegations if he didn’t agree.
Lewis was arrested the day after the discovery of Mr Roberts’ body, and was subsequently charged with murder.
Following a two-week trial, the jury reached a unanimous guilty verdict and Her Honour Justice Cheema-Grubb was satisfied it was a murder motivated for financial gain.
Detective Inspector Philip Moss from the Beds, Cambs and Herts major crime unit, said: “This was an alarming act of violence which resulted in an innocent man losing his life.
"The attack on Meuric was horrific and proves that Lewis is a nasty piece of work who has gone to extreme lengths to seek punishment for his victim, after having already taken advantage of him.
“I am pleased with today’s verdict and glad that Lewis has received a suitable punishment for all the pain he has inflicted on Meuric’s family.”