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Man who murdered neighbour to buy drugs jailed for minimum of 25 years
A man has been jailed for 25 years for murdering his neighbour who moved to London from Sussex for a fresh start.
Leonard Head, 50, of Grove Road, Walthamstow was today at Snaresbrook Crown Court told he would serve a minimum of 25 years for the murder of Jeffrey Coombes who he killed to steal his property to buy drugs.
Mr Coombes – who was known as Jeff – “sought no confrontation with anyone”, police said.
The 51-year-old, from St Leonards, was last known alive on June 21, 2013, when he had phone conversation with a friend.
After not hearing from him, concerned relatives tried to get hold of him but to no avail, including visiting the address on a couple of occasions and leaving notes on his door asking him to contact his sister.
No contact was made with family and relatives attended again on July 14, 2013.
They were so concerned then officers were called.
Mr Coombes was found dead in the flat – he had suffered head and facial injuries. Inquiries found that a white 24-inch Bush HD television was missing from the address, along with a Nokia mobile phone, an Acer laptop, a wallet with Velcro fastening and a set of house keys.
Inquiries led police to Leonard Head who lived at the same address, but in a flat opposite Mr Coombes.
Both men knew each other.
A witness said Head, a drug addict, had tried to sell him a white television and a laptop similar to what was stolen.
Head's fingerprints were also on the television as well as blood from the victim.
Detective Chief Inspector John Sandlin said: "Leonard Head has not accepted any responsibility for the murder of Jeff.
“He attacked Jeff, stole his property for money in order to feed his drug habit, and then laid low hoping that his crime would not be discovered, stating he was oblivious to the smell of Jeff's decomposing body in the flat opposite his, even though it was described as overpowering.
“This was a cowardly attack on a man in his own home, who had been described as a man who sought no confrontation with anyone."