Man cleared of murder 11 years ago convicted of killing best friend

Tony Poole is facing another lengthy sentence behind bars for killing his "best friend". Credit: Gloucestershire Police

A man who spent 13 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit was today found guilty of killing another man.

Tony Poole, 52, was jailed for life for stabbing Hensley Wiltshire at a flat in Gloucester in 1989.

He was released from prison in 2003 after his conviction was found to be a miscarriage of justice.

But he is facing a lengthy sentence again after a jury found him guilty of the manslaughter of 30-year-old Martin Stokes.

Poole was also convicted of unlawfully wounding another friend, Ben Clark, 47.

The cocaine user claimed he acted in self-defence, stating he armed himself with two knives "Kung-Fu style" and stabbed Mr Stokes in the eye after fearing he would be attacked himself.

During the three-week trial, he told jurors: "In the world I live in, you can stab people if they are going to stab you."

As Mr Stokes tried to flee Poole, he fell from the window of the ground-floor flat and plummeted to the stairwell below.

Poole then stabbed Mr Clark in the chest before fleeing the property in Nettleton Road, Gloucester, reportedly shouting: "If I go down for it, I go down for it."

CCTV captured Poole leaving the scene. Credit: Gloucestershire Police

Members of the public rushed to Mr Stokes aid, but he was already unconscious and died eight days later in hospital on January 21 this year.

During his evidence, Poole said he was "devastated" by what happened, adding: "They were my friends. It just got out of hand.

"I couldn't believe they would start on me. I reacted how I knew I had to. I never intended injury or death."

Poole demonstrates how he stabbed his victims to custody officers. Credit: Gloucestershire Police

Detective Chief Inspector Ruth Mather, who led the investigation, said Poole had shown "no remorse" for his actions despite claiming Mr Stokes was his "best friend".

Mr Stokes family said "our lives will never be the same".

Poole will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on January 9.