Darren Pencille is accused of stabbing 51-year-old Lee Pomeroy nine times on the South Western Railway service on a train bound for London – in front of Pomeroy’s son. The attack was caught on surveillance video and Pencille, who attempted to hide his appearance from police, was later caught. Pencille’s girlfriend, Chelsea Mitchell, allegedly drove him away from the scene and assisted hiding him from authorities.
According to reports, it’s believed that Pencille stabbed Pomeroy after they accidentally bumped into one another while boarding the train.
During his court appearance, Pencille sat on the floor rather than stand because he claimed he was “hearing voices” and feeling “paranoid.” He was heard muttering “get me out of here” to the two security guards who stood beside him and, as he was taken away, he told chair of the bench, Helen Mattey, “I’m innocent until proven guilty.”
Pencille was charged with murder and possessing an offensive weapon on Sunday. Mitchell is accused of assisting the suspect, as police believe she helped him flee from the train in the minutes following the attack and helped him change his appearance.
It was later revealed that officers had gone to Pencille’s home less than 24 hours before the train attack because neighbors complained about his behavior, saying he was aggressively banging on doors. According to neighbors, the couple were unemployed and often noisy.
Pencille and Mitchell were arrested during a raid by armed officers at their home Saturday morning.
Police were able to find the murder suspect by using ticket information, the surveillance footage from the station, and cell phone data. Those in the nearby area saw Pencille wandering in fields using his cell phone. He left bloody handprints on a wooden gate and police used a dog to trace the man after he left his jacket nearby.
One neighbor called Pencille a “scary-looking fellow” noting that he banged repeatedly on the neighbor’s door, explaining: “I don’t know why… I had never spoken to him before. I have to admit it was intimidating.”
According to witnesses on the train, Pomeroy suffered multiple wounds during the three-minute argument. His wife had told friends she moved to the UK because it was “civilized” and wrote online 12 years ago: “I love how people here wish to be hospitable, how they smile, how they take care of nature. People still tend to build families, plus there are laws to support women.”
Pomeroy was attacked minutes after both men boarded the train, and the suspect fled the train at the next stop on the route.
Police released the following statement from Pomeroy’s family: “Lee took his son on a trip to London hoping to spend some quality time with him which was cut short by an horrific and pointless attack. It has emerged that in the moments leading up to the violent killing, both men appeared to be involved in an altercation lasting three minutes.”
The statement continued: “Lee would have had his birthday today but did not get to see his presents. He was an honest, bright person, who loved music very much. He was a devoted family man and did everything for his family. He was a loving husband and father. He will be deeply missed by all his family.”
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