A man with anger against his neighbors has been convicted of killing a father of three when a jury rejected his claim that a personality disorder meant he could not be held accountable for his actions.
Ken Arslan, 52, stabbed Matthew Bureman 27 times on the front lawn of his victim in the village of Walton Cardiff near Texbury in Gloucestershire on October 5 last year.
Burman’s wife, Sarah, sustained a stab wound to her thigh while trying to help her husband, while another neighbor, Peter Marsden, was stabbed eight times but managed to save Arslan and survive.
Arslan admitted to the murder because of his lack of responsibility, but denied killing Burman.
A jury in Bristol Crown Court heard he had a paranoid, restless and antisocial personality disorder but the prosecution argued he was in complete control at the time of the attack and knew the difference between right and wrong.
In her closing remarks, Kate Bruner QC stated that Arslan had created a script for a real-life horror story about himself as a murderer.
“It was something he planned and controlled. It was a horror movie planned, where he was going to kill his prey one by one. A horror movie where he’s going to take on a starring role and end up on TV. “After his arrest, Arsenal asked officers if he was on Sky News or the BBC.
Bruner said the defendant fabricated a number of different possible mental defenses, such as hearing a voice to kill him and amnesia. He says Arslan has shown how rational he is by forging mental illness. “He is a cunning, shrewd man trying to pull the eyebrows,” the prosecutor said.
Sarah Burman told the court that Arslan had repeatedly threatened to kill her, her husband and their children, jokingly telling them that if she did, she would face only 10 years in prison.
The court heard that there had been a long-running dispute between Arslan and neighbors over a minor dispute over parking and that Arslan had been evicted due to a scratch on a car. Gloucestershire police were notified and Arslan told a police officer the day before the murder that he would kill Burman.
Howard Godfrey QC, on behalf of Arsenal, said the defendant was not trying to “get out” of responsibility for Burman’s death, but made it clear that it was “not normal behavior.”
“He attacks in broad daylight, when everyone is around and there’s CCTV everywhere – is that normal?” He asked. “He doesn’t do it at night when someone goes out to walk their dog and then runs away, not wearing a mask to try to hide who he is.”
Godfrey added: “After Mr Burman died, he stabbed him 27 times, then lit a cigarette and sat on top of Mr Burman. Does that seem normal?”