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Man found guilty of manslaughter after 'loving husband' stabbed to death in Manor Park cemetery

PUBLISHED: 17:37 20 April 2015 | UPDATED: 17:41 20 April 2015

Police at City of London Cemetery in Manor Park

Police at City of London Cemetery in Manor Park

Archant

A man who stabbed a "loving husband and father" to death during a family funeral in Manor Park has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Peter Charles John, 54, was killed while attending the funeral of his step father-in-law, with his wife and daughter, at the City of London Cemetery in North Boundary Road on July 23 last year.

Later that afternoon, a cemetery worker came across Mr John’s body slumped near a gravestone. He was rushed to hospital where he died.

John Nicholles, 53, was today found guilty of manslaughter following a two week trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Detective Chief Inspector, Chris Jones, who led the investigation, said: “Peter was a loving husband and father. I hope that the conviction today goes some small way to helping his family come to terms with their loss.”

An investigation was carried out by detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command following Mr John’s death.

During a search of the crime scene officers recovered a silver chain, a black crucifix and a pair of sunglasses. Forensic analysis showed that Mr John’s blood was present on the chain, crucifix and sunglasses whilst Nicholles DNA was recovered from the sunglasses.

Nicholles was arrested on suspicion of murder at an address in Stockwell only two days after the death.

Detectives then managed to link him to a green Ford Mondeo, which witnesses had said was at the cemetery on 23 July.

Officers found an order of service for the funeral and a blood stain that matched Mr John’s DNA and they also recovered clothes and shoes that had blood stains from both Nicholles and the victim at an address in Lambeth.

DCI Jones, added: “Nicholles killed Peter in the middle of the day in a busy cemetery where they had both gone to pay their respects at a funeral. Throughout his interview he refused to comment or show any remorse, we are still not clear on why he took Peter’s life.”

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