April 9, 2021 2.53 pm This story is over 31 months old

Lincolnshire murderer convicted for stabbing friend to death

He said what happened was an accident

A Skegness man who stabbed a former friend and then ran away leaving his victim with a fatal injury was convicted of murder by a jury at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday.

Paul Bodell claimed he simply pushed his victim Paul Barnett, 45, after Mr Barnett went for him with a golf club during an incident in Grosvenor Road, Skegness.

He said what happened was an accident and denied he intended to either murder Mr Barnett or cause him really serious harm.

Paul Barnett sadly died in September 2020 and police put a cordon in place on Grosvenor Road in Skegness. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police/John Byford

The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for 11 hours over three days before returning a guilty verdict by a majority of 10 to 2.

Bodell, 37, of Grosvenor Road, Skegness, denied the murder of Paul Barnett on September 22, 2020.

He was remanded in custody to await sentence on a later date.

A murder investigation after the death of a man on Grosvenor Road in Skegness. | Photo: John Byford

Judge John Pini QC told him: “The jury have convicted you of murder. I will sentence you on a date that is going to be arranged. In the mean time you will remain in custody.”

During the three week trial Andrew Vout QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “It was not an accident. It was a vicious intentional blow with a lethal weapon. It was murder.”

He said the two men had been friends but fell out before the fatal incident. Paul Barnett complained that Bodell had taken his door keys off him and he wanted them back while Bodell believed Mr Barnett owed him £40.

Police put a cordon in place on Grosvenor Road in Skegness. | Photo: John Byford

Mr Vout said that Bodell concealed a large kitchen knife up his sleeve before seeking a confrontation with Mr Barnett in the street where both men lived.

“Paul Bodell stabbed Paul Barnett with such ferocity that the knife went through the left side of his chest, damaged his ribs, went through his lung, went through one of the arteries emerging from Mr Barnett’s heart and entered into and damaged his spinal bones.

“Having inflicted this terrible wound Paul Bodell ran away disposing of his knife as he ran.

“Within minutes Paul Barnett would be dead.”

Mr Vout said that after being stabbed Mr Barnett stumbled backwards and fell against a parked car before slumping to the floor. He was bleeding heavily but managed to make it back to his nearby flat.

People tried to help him and the emergency services were called but he passed away.

The following morning Bodell went to Skegness Police Station where he was arrested. He was later interviewed by officers on four occasions but made no comment to questions put to him.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Myszczyszyn, of East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), said: “This was a brutal attack with an unwarranted level of violence and a man’s family have been left devastated by this senseless incident.

“Had Bodell left the knife at home, the outcome would have been very different. Instead this case epitomises the dangers of carrying a knife or weapon in a public place and we will release further details of this case after Bodell has been sentenced.

“Lincolnshire Police takes any incident involving a knife or weapon extremely seriously. Should you choose to carry one, even if you don’t intend to use it, there is every chance that someone could be either seriously injured or killed.

“I would like to thank all of the witnesses who came forward to help secure this conviction and I hope this is the start of some closure for Mr Barnett’s family and the local community.”