Brixham man found guilty of murder after setting caravan alight

Credit: ITV News/Devon and Cornwall Police

A man from Brixham has been found guilty for killing a man in a brutal attack before setting his caravan alight.

31-year-old Lewis Finch has been found guilty of the murder of 47-year-old Geoffrey Pearce.

Exeter Crown Court heard on the night of 8 January 2020, Finch had purchased drugs before taking a taxi to Mr Pearce’s address where he lived alone in a caravan on a haulage yard in Harpford, Newton Poppleford.

Finch had reportedly stayed there for some time taking drugs with the victim before attacking Mr Pearce and hitting him several times on the head causing a fatal head injury.

Before fleeing Finch set the caravan on fire with Mr Pearce still inside.

Credit: ITV News

He then made a call to his half-sister to ask for a lift. After hearing Mr Pearce in the background his sister immediately called the police who attended with fire crews.

The body of Geoffrey Pearce was later identified within the burnt-out caravan.

We feel this verdict is the right outcome and tis now represents closure for us and it means we can now move on

Pearce family statement

Family members who attended the trial have made the following statement:

“We are pleased with the outcome and justice has prevailed. We would like to thank Prosecution QC Mr Brunton and the investigation team with special thanks to the Family Liaison Officer. We feel this verdict is the right outcome and tis now represents closure for us and it means we can now move on.”

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Robert Back said: “We welcome today’s outcome. This was a brutal attack on Mr Pearce by someone he knew and had allowed into his home.

“I hope this result provides some sense of closure for his family who have conducted themselves throughout the trial with dignity and restraint."