Gardener in court who killed pensioner in row after he was sacked

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A ‘RESENTFUL’ gardener murdered an 82-year-old customer by stabbing him more than 40 times when he was sacked, a court has heard.

David Hall, 47, worked on Dennis Plater’s garden at his home in Stroud, Gloucestershire, for £5 per hour.

When Hall became unreliable and repeatedly failed to turn up, Mr Plater hired another gardener.

Prosecuting Christopher Quinlan told the court that Hall inflicted a number of knife wounds on Mr Plater, including on his eyes, ears and jawline, in a ‘sadistic’ attack. A post-mortem found he had at least 42 sharp-force injuries.

Hall said he became ‘extremely angry’ and killed Mr Plater after catching a train back to Stroud from Portsmouth to be told that a new gardener had been hired and then Mr Plater refused to shake his hand.

The widower’s body was found in his kitchen on November 7 last year after a neighbour and new gardener used a spare key. Police arrested Hall in Southsea two days later and he admitted the murder.

Following the killing, Hall used cash to buy train tickets to Portsmouth and immediately went to the pub. Officers found £95 in cash in his rucksack. They also found a smear of blood on a chest of drawers containing wallets Mr Plater kept money in, which were all empty.

Hall appeared at Bristol Crown Court today so the court could decide whether he killed Mr Plater for money.

A decision has not been reached and Hall will be sentenced at a later date. Hall admits murder but denies that it was sadistic or for financial gain.