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January 27, 2005

Deaf Teenager Set Alight Murder Victim

From: The Scotsman - Edinburgh,Scotland,UK - Jan 27, 2005

By Pat Clarke, PA

A deaf teenager who battered a defenceless householder to death and set fire to the body in an effort to destroy the evidence was jailed for life today.

Derek Dale, 18, murdered Paul Geddes – severing his ear – as he went on a night-long rampage looking for cash to buy drugs, the Old Bailey heard.

Dale and Nabeel Aljubori, 24, were out to steal property from houses in Plumstead, south-east London, in June last year when they entered Mr Geddes's home.

There they both attacked him with "appalling savagery" and killed him, Victor Temple QC, prosecuting had told the court. Afterwards, they tried to break into the home of one of his neighbours.

Mr Geddes suffered multiple injuries and died as a result.

Later that day the pair returned to the address and poured petrol over Mr Geddes' body before setting it and his flat alight.

Dale and Aljubori, both from the Plumstead area, denied murder. Dale was convicted of murder and ordered to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure today.

Judge Peter Fingret told him: "This was a particular brutal and callous murder of a mild and ineffectual man.

"It is hard to believe thay a human being can behave in such a way to a fellow man."

Aljubori was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter and will be sentenced later.

The court had heard that Dale and Alijubori had been seen in the area before the killing and had allegedly been breaking into houses to steal money.

"During that period these two defendants were seeking money or property which could be converted into cash to buy drugs" said Mr Temple.

"They wanted yet more drugs so continued their pursuit to obtain money by stealing."