Islington man who murdered best friend could face life in prison

Norman Newmarch

Norman Newmarch - Credit: Archant

An Islington man who stabbed his best friend to death has been found guilty of murder.

Rodney Hickford

Rodney Hickford - Credit: Archant

Norman Newmarch, 60, of Florence Street, had been staying with his friend Rodney Hickford, 59, following a breakdown in his marriage.

After an argument between the two, Newmarch stabbed Mr Hickford – who was partially disabled and needed a wheelchair and sticks to get around – in the back and left the knife sticking out of his victims stomach.

The pair had first met over 30 years ago.

Officers and London Ambulance Service were called to Mr Hickford’s home in Thornhill Road, on April 30 2012, where he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Newmarch was arrested at the scene and charged with the murder on May 2.

He will be sentenced on Tuesday April 8 at the Old Bailey after being convicted of murder at the same court today.

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Detective Sergeant Nick Miller, of the Met’s homicide and major crime command, said: “Rodney extended the hand of friendship to Norman Newmarch in his hour of need, offering him a place to stay.

“He paid for his kindness with his life, which was taken from him in a fit of rage by Newmarch.

“Although Newmarch has shown remorse for the murder of his friend he will have to live with his actions for the rest of his life. Actions he will have plenty of time to reflect on as he serves out his term in prison.”

During the trial Newmarch claimed the two had argued. This resulted in Rodney being stabbed to death by Newmarch in a ferocious attack.

Newmarch was arrested at then scene and subsequently appeared at Highbury Magistrates Court charged with the murder on 2 May 2012.

He had previously pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his friend.