Man jailed for murdering his brother and leaving the body in the shed of his Hemel Hempsted home

Richard Martin has been sent to prison for 18 years.
Richard Martin has been sent to prison for 18 years.

A man has been sent to prison for 18 years after he murdered his brother in a row over their inheritance.

At 5am on Saturday June 9, 2018,Richard Martin went to his brother John’s home in Malmes Croft, Leverstock Green in Hemel Hempstead– the family home owned by their parents before their deaths – armed with an iron bar. He later told police he planned to ‘evict’ his brother from the house.

They had a difficult relationship and Richard was angry that he hadn’t inherited anything when their father died in 2015.

Richard, who turned 53 on the day of the murder, broke in by smashing a glass pane in the kitchen door and confronted John. He carried out a sustained fatal attack on his 55-year-old brother before later moving his body into the garden shed.

Following the killing, Richard attempted to discard evidence and carried on with his normal life, even turning up for his 7am work shift as an engineer just hours after the murder.

He slept in John’s house and even began to move his personal belongings from his own home in Barleycroft, Hemel Hempstead, into the Leverstock Green property.

Suspicions were raised when John, who was described by friends as ‘someone you could set your watch by’, failed to turn up for a tennis match. Friends and neighbours also noticed that his car was not parked in the usual place at his home – because Richard had moved it – and all the curtains were closed. They had also seen Richard walking the dog, which is something John would normally have done.

Police were called and when officers knocked on John’s door, Richard said: “John can’t come because he’s dead. I killed him”. He was arrested on suspicion of murder and later charged.

Richard pleaded guilty to the offence on Friday, September 28, 2018 and today he was jailed for 18 years at Luton Crown Court.

Detective Inspector Phil Moss from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit said: “Richard has never shown any remorse for the pre-meditated murder of his brother and, after beating John to death, continued as normal – going to work, visiting his local pub and visiting the cinema with a friend.

“He even began moving into the house, which he believed he had a claim to, and slept there at night following John’s death.

“Due to the aggravating factor of Richard killing John for his own gain, the Judge has handed down a significant sentence, which means Richard will be in prison well into his old age.”