Man admits killing widower, 88, after allegedly breaking into home during lockdown

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An 88-year-old widower died in an attack in his own home during lockdown in April, a jury heard today.

Dennis Kellond, a widower who lived alone, was confronted by Darren McClean, in his hallway, a court heard.

The prosecution in the murder trial told the jury the defendant smashed through the window of his front door, intending to burgle his home.

McClean, 42, admitted manslaughter but denied murder on the first day of his trial today.

Opening the murder trial, prosecutor James Newton-Price QC said: “This case concerns the killing of an elderly man, Dennis Kellond.

“He was killed at his home in Godstone, Surrey in the early weeks of lockdown, on April 25 this year.

“Dennis Kellond was aged 88 years and widowed. He lived alone, although he had a very supportive family, including three adult children who looked after his welfare.

“The attack took place in the hallway of the house, Mr Kellond received blows to the head, causing a brain injury that proved fatal. He recovered sufficiently to stumble through the lounge, into the kitchen, leaving a trail of blood spots but he collapsed in the kitchen and he died before he could raise the alarm.”

Mr Kellond was found by his son Peter two days later, after a worried neighbour called to raise the alarm after seeing an open door. He was found collapsed on the kitchen floor alongside a trail of blood, the court heard.

The court heard how, on the morning before the incident, Mr Kellond’s daughter had brought him groceries and the Times newspaper, during a visit where the elderly man had discussed the coronavirus situation and spoken about projects he was planning to keep himself occupied with.

Mr Kellond’s wallet and phone were missing along with some cufflinks and a brass key which was later abandoned nearby, the prosecution said.

It was claimed by the prosecution McClean had later used the phone to contact drug dealers.

A major police investigation uncovered CCTV footage which placed McClean at the scene and his DNA was discovered on Mr Kellond’s badly injured ear, the court heard, leading to McClean’s arrest five days later.

McClean claimed he had fled after witnessing the two men, who he said he could not name for fear of reprisal, break into Mr Kellond’s house and punch the pensioner, denying he had any involvement in the violence.

The story was abandoned when McClean admitted manslaughter as an alternative to murder this morning, although he denied murder, the jury were told.

“That story, all lies. All of it, complete lies”, Mr Newton-Price said.

“This man has lied and lied and lied to the police about the sequence of events and, we say, lied about what he did and what happened.”