Walton Cardiff murder: Man killed neighbour on lawn during knife 'rampage' in front of young boy

A court heard that Can Arslan had warned a police officer the day before the attack. Credit: Gloucestershire Police

A man who told police he would kill his neighbour the day before knifing the father-of-three to death has been sentenced to life in prison.

Can Arslan stabbed Matthew Boorman 27 times on his own front lawn in Snowdonia Road, Walton Cardiff, near Tewkesbury, on October 5 last year.

The 43-year-old victim was still connected to a work call at the time of the incident and his colleagues heard the attack.

Mr Boorman died at the scene and one of his three children - who had all been inside watching cartoons at the time of the murder - saw his father's bloodied body from the window.

Mr Boorman's wife, Sarah, witnessed the entire attack and was stabbed in the leg as she tried to protect her husband.

After the killing, Arslan sat on Mr Boorman's body and lit a "triumphant" cigarette before going to the house of another neighbour, Peter Marsden, and trying to kill him.

Arslan, 52, stabbed Mr Marsden eight times before being forced out of the property. Off-duty police officers armed only with a plank of wood then tackled him until help arrived.

Arslan was found guilty of Mr Boorman's murder following a trial and has today (June 9) been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 38 years.

During the hearing at Bristol Crown Court Kate Brunner QC, prosecuting, described the attack as "targeted and planned". 

"He lay in wait so he could ambush Mr Boorman," she said.

Matthew Boorman was returning from work when Can Arslan attacked him. Credit: Boorman family/PA

"Most of the attack was in public. He knowingly carried out the murder when children were in the house."

She went on to describe the murder as "brutal" and "sustained", saying it "caused terror" to those who witnessed it as Arslan was "running rampage in the street with a bloody knife". 

When sentencing Arslan, Judge Mrs Justice Cutts said his anger and rage "exploded in a spree of violence".

She added: "Your neighbours were trying to bring their children up in peace. But for many years you made the lives of your neighbours an absolute misery.

"You mounted a campaign of abuse for 12 years. You threatened to rape and kill."

She added he took the life of a decent family man "for no reason", adding: "All of his family have suffered considerable since his death.

"Sarah Boorman has lost a soulmate."

Residents lived in fear of Arslan before the attack

For months before the attack, Arslan was captured on camera threatening to murder neighbours. Much of the incident - which was likened to a horror film in court - was captured on CCTV and doorbell cameras installed by scared residents.

  • 'Put the knife down' - moment off-duty police confront Can Arslan

'He said he would murder me'

Mr Boorman's wife said the killing was 'not remotely out of the blue', as neighbours lived in fear of Arslan.

During the trial Mrs Boorman said Arslan repeatedly threatened her family, filming outside their children’s bedrooms, during the long-running dispute.

She said they had stopped using their garden because of Arslan’s threats and she said their children didn’t have play dates.

"My mum was scared he would attack me when I was putting out the washing," said Mrs Boorman.

Can Arslan has today been found guilty of murdering Matthew Boorman

"He said he would murder me and rape me. He said he would only get 10 years and that was easy. He said we were jealous of him."

Matthew Boorman had also spoken of his fears about what the man might do to him and his family just months before he was killed.

In a statement to the police on May 13 last year Mr Boorman said he was “very scared” of what Can Arslan might do and did not “know what he’s capable of”.

The jury also heard Arslan had warned a police officer the day before the attack that he would murder the 43-year-old.

Gloucestershire Police has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPCE) over the incident.

In a statement issued following the court hearing, Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden said: “My thoughts remain with Matthew’s family and friends, Peter Marsden and his family, and all those in the community who continue to suffer in light of Arslan’s actions."

He said the IOPC investigation is ongoing but the force has already taken action to improve, adding: "The constabulary will act on any findings from the reviews that are taking place to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep people safe from harm."