Attacker stabbed to death with own knife

PUBLISHED: 10:10 09 December 2010

Murder victim Lenny Kempley

Murder victim Lenny Kempley


A convicted armed robber armed with two knives was stabbed to death after confronting a man in a petty pub row.

Ross Flynn, 27, of Brockman Rise, Bromley, stabbed 54-year-old Lenny Kempley 12 times in a “loss of self control” after he was knifed twice by the victim in Downham Way, Downham, on July 17 this year.

At the Old Bailey on Monday, Flynn was sentenced to seven years in jail after he admitted manslaughter “on the basis of provocation and excessive force in self defence”.

Kempley, of Edward Tyler Road, Grove Park, went looking for Flynn armed with at least two kitchen knives after an argument in the Downham Tavern pub. Kempley had previously served 12 years of an 18-year term after firing five times at a policeman during an armed robbery in 1994.

Sentencing Flynn, Judge Christopher Moss said: “You stabbed him no less than 12 times. It was a frenzied attack. That evidence suggests your intention was to kill him.

“You accept by your plea to manslaughter that any defence of yourself against any such attack upon you, as there was from the deceased, was of excessive force. You accept you lost your self-control.

“Were it not for that provocation which was short-lived, all be it substantial, you would have been guilty of murder.”

The court heard that one of Flynn’s friends had been play-fighting with another local at the pub and had taken offence when he was slapped in the face.

Kempley then told the group of friends to leave, and got in an argument with Flynn outside. They began fighting and were separated. Kempley left, and returned to the pub later “raging”, complaining that he had lost a tooth.

The court heard that Kempley left the pub a second time, spotted Flynn, confronted him and started to fight. Flynn suffered a stab wound to the stomach, and one to his back.

He grabbed the knife and stabbed Kempley 12 times, with one of the blows going through his heart. Kempley collapsed, and was pronounced dead at 12.45am the following day.

Flynn suffered life-threatening injuries and underwent surgery to have his spleen removed. He was arrested and charged with murder after eight days in hospital.

Kempley was jailed in 1995 after being convicted of attempted robbery and making use of a firearm with intent to resist arrest.

He was part of a gang who tried to rob Kwik Save in Dagenham and fired five bullets at PC Anthony Diver, who was saved from serious injury because Kempley’s pistol jammed.

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