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24 Hours in Police Custody Murder on the Doorstep: What happened to Robert Parkins?

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Channel 4’s 24 Hours in Police Custody will tonight (October 25) focus on the investigation into the brutal murder of a man in St Neots, Cambridgeshire.

Robert Parkins, 34, of Darrington Close, Eaton Socon, was sentenced to 19 years in prison at The Old Bailey in August 2020 after being found guilty of the murder of Alex Fitzpatrick.

Mr Fitzpatrick, 30, was murdered on the afternoon of October 13, 2019, when he was stabbed at least 17 times outside the home of his former partner Kelly Anderson in Eaton Socon.

READ MORE: Crime news from CambridgeshireLive

During the trial, the prosecutor told the court that there had been “animosity” between Parkins and Mr Fitzpatrick.

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In September 2019, the victim had taken the news of Parkins moving in with Ms Anderson and his nine-year-old son “badly” and had “made his thoughts and feelings clear”, the trial heard.

On October 13 – the day of his murder – Mr Fitzpatrick had taken his son swimming and dropped him back home at around 4.30pm.

Ms Anderson was told by her son that he had left his glasses behind. A phone call was then made and Alex brought them back to Prince Close on his motorbike.

A row broke out, with Mr Fitzpatrick refusing to hand over the boy’s spectacles, jurors heard during the trial.

Ms Anderson took the child inside before Parkins, who had been peeling potatoes in the kitchen, came out holding a knife.

The pair argued and began fighting for a few minutes before Parkins ran away leaving Mr Fitzpatrick lying on the floor, the court heard.

During the fight, Parkins stabbed unarmed Mr Fitzpatrick repeatedly.

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Police on the cordon at Prince Close, Eaton Socon

Emergency services including an air ambulance were called but Mr Fitzpatrick was declared dead at the scene.

A trial heard that Parkins discarded the knife that he had used, ran to his sister’s home, and called for a lift to a property in Pymmes Brook House, London, where he was later arrested by police.

After his arrest, Parkins was charged with the murder of Mr Fitzpatrick.

He appeared at The Old Bailey on November 20 2019 to deny the murder. After a trial at the same court, Parkins was convicted of murder on August 19, 2020.

The jury deliberated for just over two-and-a-half hours before returning a guilty verdict.

The sentencing

Sentencing at The Old Bailey in October 2020, Judge Wendy Joseph QC said: “For the offence of murder there is only one sentence, and that is life.

“This was a sustained and cruel attack against a man with no means with which to defend himself.

“I’m satisfied that when you confronted Alex you well knew you had a knife in your hand and intended at the very least to threaten him with it and then, losing your temper, though not your self-control, you used it to kill.

“Alex suffered horrendous and unsurvivable injuries. He was stabbed at least 17 times.”

She added that Parkins had shown no remorse and the impact on Mr Fitzpatrick’s eight-year-old son, who lived at the address, had been “dreadful”.

Closing the case the judge said: “I do not accept there was no intent to kill. I am satisfied you were aiming where the wounds would do the most damage.

“And lastly, it’s a safe thing to say I can give you no credit for remorse as you have expressed not one ounce of regret for the fact you took a life. Throughout this trial, you have done nothing but blame Alex.”

Judge Joseph rejected the defendant’s claim that Mr Fitzpatrick had smashed his motorbike crash helmet repeatedly into his head during the fight.

She also said that Parkins’ disposal of the knife after fleeing the scene was a deliberate attempt to evade justice.

Parkins was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 19 years.

24 Hours in Police Custody: Murder on the Doorstep will be shown on Channel 4 at 9pm tonight (October 25).

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https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/local-news/24-hours-police-custody-murder-21960184