A killer phoned his mum to apologise for murdering his friend, a court heard.
Perry Coulson stabbed Dominic Clark-Ellingford after claiming they had been fighting.
Covered in blood, Coulson walked to his neighbour’s house and asked to use their phone, from where he called his mother to say that the pair had been in a fight and added: “He is dead, I’m sorry.”
His mum arrived at the flat in Lesney Gardens in Rochford in Essex and called emergency services.
On Friday a jury at Basildon Crown Court unanimously found Coulson, 39, guilty of murder following a seven-day-long trial.
The killing happened on Friday, 25 November 2022, and police were alerted to reports of a man being seriously assaulted at an address in Lesney Gardens at around 8.30am.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found Coulson outside the front of the property sitting in a car. Mr Clark-Ellingford, 32, was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation revealed how Coulson and Mr Clark-Ellingford had known each other for around 20 years, having both grown up in Rochford. Coulson will appear at Basildon Crown Court on 11 August for sentencing.
Det Ch Insp Julie Gowen said: “This was a horrendous assault, where a father of two lost his life.
"Our serious crime directorate have remained committed to this investigation, dedicating hundreds of hours of work to carry out enquiries and secure justice for Dominic’s family. “I hope that today’s conviction provides them with a form of closure so they can move forward as a family.” During the trial, Mr Clark-Ellingford's family paid tribute to him, saying: “[Dominic] was a doting father to his two young children. They adored their time together enjoying adventurous days out, playing board games, listening to music and singing.
"There was nothing he wouldn’t do for them.
“Dominic was a loving son to me and his father and he shared our sense of humour. We will miss the sound of his infectious laugh so much. He was funny and kind to all that knew him.
“Dominic was a music lover and he co-wrote a tribute song to a close friend who passed away.
“Dominic had the chance of a promising future in counselling and therapy, dealing with people struggling with addiction. He had gained a certificate in this field and was working towards his goals in life which has now been taken from him.
“He was highly thought of and losing him has not just affected our family but his friends, workmates and everyone who was lucky enough to know him. His loss has left a massive void which will never be filled.
“His children are utterly devastated and now face a future without their daddy in their lives.
“The family would like to thank all at Essex Police, from the first responders to the team of detectives that worked to secure a conviction and deliver justice for Dominic.”
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