A TRAIN passenger who stabbed an IT consultant 18 times after a row over aisle blocking has been found guilty of murder.
Jobless Darren Pencille, 36, launched an ‘unrelenting’ and ‘savage’ attack on 51-year-old Lee Pomeroy following a heated argument in front of the victim's 14-year-old son.
Other travellers on the Guildford to London service in January were horrified when Pencille produced a knife and repeatedly stabbed the unarmed man.
The defendant, who declined to give evidence at his Old Bailey trial, had admitted having a knife but denied murder, claiming he had acted in self defence against the 6ft 3in tall victim.
But jurors heard how 5ft 10in tall Pencille had a history of violence, having previously stabbed a flatmate in the neck over a minor disagreement in 2010 and had threatened to kill a staff member at a mental health hostel in June last year.
A jury deliberated for 19 and a half hours to find Pencille, of no fixed abode, guilty of murder.
His girlfriend, Chelsea Mitchell, 28, of Farnham, Surrey, was found guilty by a majority of 11-1 of helping him evade police after the attack.
Following his conviction, British Transport Police Detective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn described Pencille as ‘devious and dangerous’.
Mr Pomeroy had boarded the train at London Road, Guildford, on Friday January 4 for a day out in London with his teenage son, ahead of his 52nd birthday.
Father and son had got into the same carriage as Pencille and made their way down the aisle, the court heard.
Jurors heard they may have been ‘blocking’ Pencille's way, prompting the snide response: ‘Ignorance is bliss’.
A heated argument erupted, with Pencille swearing at Mr Pomeroy and calling him a ‘p****’.
Pencille shouted: ‘You touch me, you touch me and you see what happens at the next stop.’
Mr Pomeroy was said to have demanded an apology, saying: ‘You should not have humiliated me in front of my kid.’
At one point, Pencille was heard to say on his mobile phone: ‘I'm going to kill this man’, the court heard.
As Mr Pomeroy remonstrated, Pencille swung the knife and plunged it into his neck, cutting through the jugular vein.