A ‘highly dangerous’ convicted murderer killed again nine months after being released in ‘strikingly similar’ circumstances.
Alan Maidment, 40, will die behind bars after being sentenced to a whole life term for murdering 47-year-old father-of-one Thomas Jones, at his victim’s flat in Richmond Court, Berry Street, Clifton.
Mr Jones was stabbed 32 times before his body was set on fire, on March 22, this year.
Maidment initially confessed to police, saying he had committed the murder in revenge after hearing that Mr Jones had assaulted Natalie Strickland, a former girlfriend of both men.
But he withdrew his confession and brought the case to trial, before a jury convicted him of murder on Monday. The sentencing judge described Maidment as a ‘highly dangerous’ man who turned ‘vigilante’.
The court heard how after setting fire to Mr Jones’ body and endangering other residents, Maidment went to a petrol station to collect accelerant for the fire in an empty milkshake bottle he found in a bin.
But firefighters had arrived by the time he returned.
Nearly two decades earlier, in July 1999, Maidment, then aged 22, killed 72-year-old Paul Carlson in his flat in Manchester.
Armed with a hammer, he beat the man to death in the victim’s own flat, which Manchester Crown Court heard was also in a perceived revenge attack.
He was sentenced to life in prison but was released in June last year. Sentencing him to a whole life term, Judge David Stockdale QC said:
Judge Stockdale added that Mr Jones ‘did not deserve to die’ because of the reported assault on Ms Strickland.
Addressing Maidment, she said:
In what the judge described as a ‘particularly sinister’ aspect of the case, Maidment wore two pairs of clothes on the night of the murder and discarded the outer later into some water, as well as his phone and the murder weapon.
Still at large nine days later, Maidment then committed a number of knife-point robberies on passengers at the South Chadderton Metrolink stop in Oldham, on March 31, while high on drink and drugs.
He approached three women and demanded money, threatening them with a knife, it was said.
At about 6am the following morning, Maidment, holding a knife, arrived at McDonald’s at Elk Mill retail park in Royton, Oldham, Greater Manchester, and asked members of staff to call the police.
Before being questioned by police on April 1, Maidment was assessed by a nurse to see whether he was fit to be interviewed. The nurse asked Maidment what his plans were if he was going to be released, and he said he would ‘hurt people’.
Asked why, Maidment said because he ‘enjoyed’ it, and that he ‘enjoyed the drama’.
After the hearing, Senior Investigating Officer Duncan Thorpe, of GMP’s Major Incident Support Unit, said:
Maidment, of Ludlow Avenue, Salford, was found guilty of murdering Thomas Jones after trial and earlier pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery and possession of a bladed weapon.