Nine years behind bars for Manor Park cemetery killer

John Nicholles, inset, has been sentenced to nine years for killing a man at the City of London Ceme

John Nicholles, inset, has been sentenced to nine years for killing a man at the City of London Cemetery last year - Credit: Archant

A man convicted of the manslaughter of a ‘loving husband’ at a funeral in Manor Park has been jailed for nine years today.

John Nicholles, 53, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Peter Charles John, 54, on Monday, following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

During the three-week trial, jurors had heard how Mr John had been attending the funeral of his wife’s stepfather at the City of London Cemetery on July 23 last year when he was killed.

He had told his family he was going to the toilet but never returned, having been fatally stabbed during a fight with Mr Nicholles.

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

Sarah Plashkes QC, prosecuting, said that Nicholles, of Clapham, was the “aggressor throughout”.

She told the court how Nicholles had been convicted of a number of violent offences in the past, including possession of a baton in 2013.

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Nicholas Valios QC, defending, said: “This wasn’t a case of an intent to kill.”

The court heard how Nicholles and Mr John had been “punching and kicking and wrestling” until a knife fell out of Nicholles’ jacket pocket which was then used by Nicholles as the scuffle continued.

Mr Valios added that Nicholles had “called an ambulance” following the stabbing, but Judge Deborah Taylor said that there had been a delay in calling the emergency services and that he did not give much detail as to the location of Mr John.

Judge Taylor told Nicholles: “You were found guilty by a jury of the manslaughter of Peter John.

“[On that day] you were both attending the funeral of David Brown. Their memory of that sad day will be forever tainted by your killing of Peter John.”

Nicholles, who was clean shaven and dressed in a black suit and tie, appeared calm throughout and showed no reaction when the sentence was read out.

Following the sentencing, Mr John’s wife Donna Hemmington John shouted out from the public gallery: “Everybody hates you and you’re going to hell. You’ve ruined so many people’s lives, you idiot.”

She then apologised to the judge before leaving the courtroom.