Man cleared of Southsea body parts murder but gets life for manslaughter

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A Southsea man who said he did not remember killing his friend was today cleared of murder - but convicted of manslaughter.

David Hilder was given a life sentence and told he would spend at least 12 years in jail.

David Hilder

David Hilder

Hilder, 47, of Richmond Road, Southsea, killed and dismembered his friend of 10 years David Guy after an argument.

After more than 17 hours of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.

Hilder, wearing a grey sweater over a white shirt showed no emotion as the verdict was read out.

The jury reached its verdict by a majority of 10 to two.

During a four-week trial at Winchester Crown Court, the jury has heard how the 47-year-old Hilder killed Mr Guy, cutting up his body in his lock-up, before riding around Southsea on his bike, which had a large basket on the front, to dispose of the body parts.

The court heard that Hilder told police he did not remember killing Mr Guy.

‘I hope to God I never did anything to him’ he told detectives.

The jury was shown video footage of the police interviews in which, looking exhausted, unshaven, and dishevelled, Hilder wept several times during his first interview with detectives at Waterlooville police station.

When asked by Detective Constable Nicky Cupper what his involvement was in the death of David Guy, Hilder said: ‘I don’t think I did it.’

Hilder had given himself up to police by calling an operator and telling her: ‘I think I have killed someone.’ The recorded call was played to the jury.

Students found Mr Guy’s torso on Southsea beach on July 3 last year. It was inside a bin liner, wrapped in a pink shower curtain.

His legs and pelvis were spotted in the water by Southsea Castle on July 6. The rest of his body has never been found. Tributes were paid to Mr Guy after the killing.

Today police praised the courage of Mr Guy’s family.