A man who killed a father in front of his teenage son on a train from Guildford to London has been found guilty of murder and jailed for life with a minimum of 28 years behind bars.
Darren Pencille, 36, stabbed Lee Pomeroy in the neck and upper torso 18 times shortly after boarding the train on Friday 4 January 2019. The court heard the two men had begun shouting at each other after Pencille became frustrated with Mr Pomeroy and his son blocking the aisle.
As the argument grew Pencille was heard to say into his phone “I’m gonna kill this man”… “He’ll be dead.” This was alleged to have been a call made to co-defendant Chelsea Mitchell. CCTV then showed Pencille pulling a knife from his pocket and stabbing 51-year-old Mr Pomeroy 18 times in the neck during a frenzied 27-second attack.
Pencille was arrested by armed police less than 18 hours later at his girlfriend’s home in Farnham, Surrey. He had previously attempted to avoid capture by travelling to Frensham Ponds near Farnham, Bognor Regis and Chichester. Interviews, local CCTV and cell site analysis using CSAS software helped piece together his movements before his arrest.
As Pencille fled he called his girlfriend Chelsea Mitchell, 28, who picked him up and took him back to her flat. Mitchell used her mobile to search for news reports relating to the stabbing, whether there were CCTV cameras at London Road station, and creating a video of Pencille’s injuries.
They drove to the rural Frensham Ponds followed by Chichester and Bognor Regis in West Sussex before researching cheap hotels in the Surrey and Sussex areas. They then returned home and were arrested hours later. Within that time, Pencille had called an ex-girlfriend and his mum, telling them he had done “something bad”.
Pencille and Mitchell were tried at the Old Bailey in London and found guilty; Pencille for murder and possession of an offensive weapon, Mitchell for assisting an offender. Mitchell received a 28 month prison sentence for her part in helping Pencille attempt to avoid capture.
Detective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn of the British Transport Police, said: “This was a case where a brief argument resulted in a moment of shocking violence that ended with the death an adored father, husband, brother and son. I’d like to thank (the victim’s family) for their invaluable support throughout this investigation. I’d also like to thank the work of dedicated and specialist officers and staff from the British Transport Police who tracked down Pencille less than 18 hours after the murder, and the months they dedicated to securing damning evidence of Mitchell’s attempts to help Darren Pencille avoid justice. It was their efforts supported by the brave accounts of eyewitnesses that ensured the true facts were established in court.”