A man is beginning a life sentence after murdering his landlord over unpaid rent. Karl Bestford carried out the killing at the home let by Simon Meech in Gateshead.
Mr Meech had gone to the flat in Bensham because his tenant owed hundreds of pounds. Bestford had fallen into arrears, after failing to keep up with payments for seven months.
Bestford stabbed and mutilated Mr Meech, before escaping along the A69 in his landlord's car. He pulled over in a layby near Corbridge. There he rang 999 and reported the killing to police.
At his trial, Bestford denied murder but was convicted by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.
Simon Meech was described in court as a 'model landlord'. His family says it's been left 'utterly heartbroken'.
Police have described the killing as a 'savage attack'.
Sentencing Bestford to life in jail, a judge at Newcastle Crown Court ordered that he serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars.