Work by specialist detectives has ensured a man who murdered his friend following an argument about being woken up, now faces life in prison.
Thirty-three year-old Jimmy Moore had arrived at the address of Robert Crabtree in Palmers Grove, Nazeing on the morning of Saturday 25 September, to pick up Crabtree’s brother for work.
In an attempt to wake up Crabtree’s brother, Jimmy started throwing stones at the window of the bedroom he believed to be sleeping in.
However, Crabtree’s brother was not at home, instead it was Crabtree who was asleep in that room.
Having been woken up, Crabtree shouted out of the window to Jimmy and the pair got into an argument.
Crabtree, went downstairs and, armed with a knife, confronted Jimmy and proceeded to stab him several times.
Jimmy fell to the floor where Crabtree then stabbed him further. Police were then called.
Meanwhile, Jimmy staggered back to his car, got in the driving seat before driving down the road before collapsing at the wheel.
When officers arrived, they found Jimmy in his car who, sadly, died at the scene.
Crabtree, 33, was arrested on suspicion of murder.
During his first interview, he claimed he had been acting in self-defence and Jimmy had been the aggressor.
He told officers Jimmy had assaulted him and only after that did he go back into his house and grab a knife.
Crabtree’s brother claimed Jimmy had picked up mole grips and had threatened Crabtree with them, but CCTV footage which covered much of the incident did not show Jimmy with anything in his hands when the attack took place.
Crabtree was charged with murder and despite claiming self-defence, was convicted today (8 August) following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
Crabtree’s brother – Ryan Crabtree, 30, of no fixed address was convicted of perverting the course of justice having been found to have tried to help his brother clean up the blood from the driveway. He also turned off their CCTV following the incident in an attempt to reduce the evidence available to our officers.
They will be sentenced at the same court on 9 September.
Detective Superintendent Scott Egerton, who led the investigation, said:
“Robert Crabtree used extreme violence to settle an argument and it had fatal consequences. Perhaps what is most galling is that the dispute over which Jimmy Moore lost his life was so innocuous. "This case highlights the serious impact knives can have and how easily their use can significantly escalate any situation. "It is utterly heart-breaking that Jimmy has lost his life over waking someone up. "No court result will ever bring him back to his family but I hope this will help them move forward.”