Paul May murder: Life for killer whose 'frenzied' hammer attack robbed Essex family of father

Paul May died in February 2022 from injuries inflicted by Abir Miah Credit: Essex Police

A man has been jailed for life after being found guilty of a frenzied hammer attack which left a father dead.

The body of Paul May, 46, was found in a flat on London Road in Westcliff in February.

The landlord of the building discovered the corpse when he noticed what he thought was a fake hand sticking out from under a blanket - which turned out to be Mr May.

Abir Miah, 45, was found guilty of murder following trial at Basildon Crown Court.

Jurors were told forensic examinations revealed Mr May had suffered a head injury and defensive wounds to his hands.

Further investigations revealed Mr May had been coming and going from the flat in the two days before his death, and may have been involved in the running or low level dealing of drugs.

Police studied CCTV footage and discovered Mr May and Miah had been alone in the flat for a 24-hour period from 5am on 12 February.

Miah was then seen leaving for London at 5am on the 13 February and when police visited a house in Forest Gate they discovered a claw hammer and kitchen knife.

Forensic tests revealed they had Mr May's blood on them and Miah from London Road, Westcliff, was charged with murder.

Abir Miah will serve life for murder Credit: Essex Police

Miah denied the charge but the jury unanimously found him guilty.

Mr May's family thanked detectives for their efforts, describing his murder as "shocking and unbelievable".

“It is difficult to put into words the effect this has had on everyone connected with Paul, including his children," they said.

“We will never be able to make sense of the attack. We have not heard of any empathy, remorse, sorrow or mistakes admitted to which would provide at least an explanation of what occurred. 

“Instead, we have seen clear evidence of lying and devious behaviour to try and conceal a crime.

“Paul had great potential and capability, much more than many people realised. A life is the most important thing we have, it is precious and we should all feel the gravity of the situation when a life is taken. We feel grateful and relieved that the murderer has been brought to justice."

Miah will have to serve at least 18 years before he is eligible for parole.

Det Ch Insp Louise Metcalfe said: “Abir Miah has robbed Paul’s family of his humour, his wit, and his creativity.

“They miss him dearly and his death has been incredibly painful for them but I am glad we have secured justice for them and for Paul.

“Miah subjected Paul to an horrific, frenzied, and brutal attack."