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Two men jailed for the murder of Ian Tomlin

News   •   May 31, 2019 12:38 BST

Jailed: Michael Swan and Gary Beech

Two men who murdered their neighbour have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The men were found guilty unanimously by a jury on Wednesday, 8 May at the Old Bailey of the murder of 46-year-old Ian Tomlin.

Gary Beech, 48 (26.07.70), of Cromwell House, Charlotte Despard Avenue, SW11, and Michael Swan, 46 (10.05.73), of Enterprise Way, SW18 appeared at the same court on Friday, 31 May where they were sentenced as follows: 

Gary Beech was sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 21 years. 

Michael Swan was sentenced to life imprisonment to serve a minimum of 19 years.

During trial the court heard how Beech and Tomlin were neighbours, and that Swan, a close friend of Beech, was a regular visitor to the block.

Ian Tomlin believed the pair were dealing drugs from there and often challenged their presence on the estate.

This had led to a long-running feud between the victim and the two defendants, spanning many months before the attack.

On Wednesday, 17 October 2018, Ian returned home shortly after 17:20hrs to find Beech and Swan meeting in a communal area on the first floor landing of the building.

The court heard from a witness who described how Ian had armed himself with a baseball bat and chain during the confrontation. CCTV footage captured Swan and Ian fighting, with Beech intervening.

Ian was then overcome and struck on the head a number of times with the baseball bat he brought to the scene; he was also stabbed repeatedly in the neck.

Beech and Swan then left the block, Swan carrying what appeared, from CCTV footage, to be the baseball bat.

Police arrived on scene shortly after the assault, and found Ian lying on the floor of the first floor communal lift area with severe injuries.

He had received fatal wounds to the back of his head and neck and, despite the efforts of emergency services, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination was held and identified Ian's cause of death as a blunt force trauma to the head and stab wounds to the neck.

Detectives from Homicide and Major Crime Command launched an immediate investigation into Ian’s murder.

Analysis of CCTV footage identified Beech and Swan as the men who had brutally assaulted Ian and left him for dead.

Swan was arrested at his home address Enterprise Way, SW18 on Thursday, 18 October. Beech was arrested at his home address of Charlotte Despard Avenue, SW11 the following day.