Paignton murder house to be knocked down for luxury flats

Police at the scene of the so-called monkey wrench murder in Paignton back in November 2000.

A house in Paignton that was the scene of a murder back in 2000 is to be knocked down and replaced with luxury flats.

The derelict Victorian villa at 3 Keysfield Road is to be redeveloped as 14 new apartments. The plans were approved in January but details on landscaping and boxes for bats and swifts were given the go-ahead by Torbay Council's planning committee on Monday 24 July.

The villa, which was built in 1870, became a magnet for anti-social behaviour for a number of years.

Police searching the villa where David Maher was murdered with a monkey wrench in November 2000. Credit: ITV West Country

In November 2000, one of the occupants, Peter Mann, killed one of the others, David Maher, with a monkey wrench in a row over missing drugs. He dumped his body at the Unigate dairy depot nearby. Mann fled to Thailand but was extradited and jailed for life.

Later the building was damaged in a fire and in 2010, police issued a closure order after neighbours complained about the behaviour of residents, which included drug-taking and prostitution.

The derelict villa near Paignton seafront has been a problem for years but will now be replaced by flats. Credit: Google Streetview

Cllr Barbara Lewis from Torbay Council said: “This has been a long time coming. Hopefully this will be the final piece in the jigsaw.

“The residents of Keysfield Road have put up with enough. We just need the completion of this site.”

Credit: Guy Henderson, Local Democracy Reporter