A man has been sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment after he fatally assaulted a 71-year-old pensioner William Rowe, following an argument inside a property in Mercury Close, Rochester.
Simon Brown WM latest
Simon Brown Photo: Kent Police

A pensioner was beaten to death in Rochester by a Simon Brown from Chatham who has now been jailed for manslaughter.

Mr Rowe had been staying at the house while he was decorating it for a friend of Brown’s.

On the evening of Sunday 3 September 2023, the victim had been in the living room when Brown and a friend arrived at the house at around 11pm.

The trio were all talking when Brown and Mr Rowe began to argue, and instead of leaving the property, Brown subjected him victim to a prolonged and vicious assault, leaving him with serious facial and chest injuries.

At around 4.30am on Monday 4 September, 28-year-old Brown then left the house without calling an ambulance.  CCTV showed Brown returning to the property less than 24 hours later on Monday evening. However, instead of going into the property to check on Mr Rowe he collected his car and drove away. This was later found by officers abandoned in Chatham.

Brown initially kept quiet about what had happened, but finally told a family member two days later he had assaulted Mr Rowe and thought he had killed him.

Kent Police was called on Tuesday 5 September and upon entering the property the victim was found deceased underneath a blanket in the living room with injuries to his head and body. An investigation was begun by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate and Brown was arrested later that day.

He was captured on body-worn video admitting that he beat the victim ‘badly’ and following an investigation Brown was subsequently charged with murder. He denied the charge and a trial took place at Maidstone Crown Court where a jury found him not guilty.

Brown admitted an alternative charge of manslaughter and was sentenced on Thursday 13 June 2024. He will have to serve two thirds of the sentence before he can apply for parole. Brown was also made subject of an extended licence period of four years.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Emma Lawry of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said:

‘Brown’s violent outburst left Mr Rowe with horrendous injuries and despite knowing he had severely injured him, he did not seek medical help but instead fled the property, seeking to only protect himself.

‘This fit of rage has ultimately led to Mr Rowe losing his life and has left Brown facing an extensive prison sentence. His family have also been affected by his actions, and must now come to terms with what he has done.

‘The sheer level of violence he used suggested that he was intent on causing serious harm to Mr Rowe and he must now face the consequence of his actions’.

By Ed

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