Knifeman killed victim then confessed to ex-partner

A man has been jailed for murdering another man in a flat and leaving the body decomposing for a fortnight.

Leslie Smith's death was initially not thought suspicious when his body was discovered at his flat at Suffolk Square, Norwich, in October 2021.

But Theodore Lynch, 41, had stabbed him while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and later confessed to his ex-partner, jurors were told.

Lynch was convicted at Norwich Crown Court after a 13-day trial and was given a life sentence with a minimum of 22 years.

Judge Alice Robinson described Lynch as "a habitual carrier of knives".

"In my view, you and the truth do not even have a passing acquaintance and the jury saw through all those lies," she told him.

Prosecutors said he had 20 previous convictions for 36 offences.

A block of flats in Suffolk Square, Norwich
Lynch gave his victim £50 to buy drugs and became angry when he returned empty-handed, jurors were told [Google]

The jury was told Mr Smith, 63, invited Lynch back to his flat on 5 October 2021.

Lynch gave his victim £50 to buy drugs and became angry with him when he returned without drugs or money.

The defendant had consumed beer, heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis, the court was told.

Judge Robinson said he deliberately stabbed Mr Smith in the neck and made no attempt to assist him.

Instead, he went to his ex-partner's home where he confessed what he had done, the court was told.

Officers found his body on 17 October after neighbours raised concerns, and described the death as not suspicious, which they later changed to "unexplained".

It was not until a post-mortem examination four days later that it was suggested his death was not accidental.

A second post-mortem examination found a fatal blood clot in his chest, consistent with a penetrating wound to the front of his neck, the jury heard.

Norwich Crown Court
Lynch had consumed a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, jurors were told [Qays Najm/BBC]

Detectives said they viewed 7,000 hours of CCTV footage before arresting Lynch on 26 October.

Prosecuting barrister Stephen Rose KC said the defendant also disposed of the knife.

Edward Renvoize, defending, said: "Mr Lynch did finally show some remorse for his actions."

Lynch had admitted manslaughter but denied murder, which jurors nonetheless found him guilty of.

Follow Norfolk news on Facebook, Instagram and X. Got a story? Email or WhatsApp 0800 169 1830

More on this story

Related Internet Links