A brutal killer who bludgeoned his housemate to death with an iron bar during a row over late rent has been jailed for life.
Murderer Henry Jones, 23, smashed Mark Beresford’s skull with the weapon after launching at him in the property they shared.
Jones had already punched Mr Beresford, 55, to the floor when he struck him over the head as his housemate cleaned himself up at the sink.
A court heard Jones tried to cover up his crime by calling an ambulance 15 minutes after the attack on March 24, telling 999 operators Mr Beresford had fallen over.
Mr Beresford was rushed to hospital but died the next day.
Officers arrested Jones, who had cleaned the iron bar and returned it to his tool box, but he claimed he was innocent.
Jones denied murder but a jury of nine men and three women at Worcester Crown Court took four hours 56 minutes to return a unanimous guilty verdict.
On Wednesday (13/9) Jones was jailed for life and told he would serve a minimum of 18 years behind bars.
Judge Robert Juckes QC said: “You hit him over the top of the head, a blow which shattered his skull and caused a dramatic brain injury which resulted in his death.
“By maintaining a plea of self-defence, you had lied to the very end.”
The judge added that while there was no “pure intent” for murder, Jones had at least intended to leave his victim “comatose” and “at grave risk of death”.
Jones battered Mr Beresford, who weighed just eight stone and suffered from pulmonary problems, at a house they shared in Offmore Road, Kidderminster, Worcs.
The court heard Jones had lost his job and was £4,000 in debt and Mr Beresford was concerned he would not be able to pay his half of the rent.
Mr Beresford raised concerns with the landlord, his friend of 50 years. This message was relayed to Jones’s father and in turn to Jones who “bitterly resented” it.
Speaking outside court, Mr Beresford’s sister Lisa Brownhill, said: “I’m glad we have got justice for my brother.
“Mark was the best bloke you could ever meet in your life and justice has been served today.
“It will never bring Mark back but at least he got the justice he deserved.”