Thugs who battered brave father-of-two, 46, to death with baseball bat face life in jail

Father-of-two Ian Tomlin, pictured, was stabbed and beaten to death when he confronted two thugs for selling drugs on his estate

Father-of-two Ian Tomlin, pictured, was stabbed and beaten to death when he confronted two thugs for selling drugs on his estate

Father-of-two Ian Tomlin, pictured, was stabbed and beaten to death when he confronted two thugs for selling drugs on his estate

Two thugs who battered a brave father-of-two to death when he confronted them for selling drugs on his estate are facing life sentences.

Gary Beech, 48, and Michael Swan, 45, stabbed Ian Tomlin, 46, seven times and beat him with a baseball bat yards from his family home in Battersea, south west London

The have-a-go hero, who drove council buses for the elderly and disabled, was the 113th victim killed in the capital last year.

He would regularly challenge criminals for selling drugs near his flat in Charlotte Despard Avenue and approached his killers as he walked home after shopping at a nearby Tesco.

After Swan killed the former boxer, he told police he had been defending himself and defiantly sneered: ‘He died from his injuries – cause he did – horrible c***.

‘I know what I have done, I can live with what I have done.’

Swan and Beech were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey yesterday following a three-week trial.

Swan was also found guilty of perverting justice for hiding a baseball bat after the murder.

Jurors heard both men have lengthy criminal records stretching back to the late 1980s drugs offences, assaults and thefts.

Mr Tomlin was found in a pool of blood just yards from his home in Battersea, south west London, pictured

Mr Tomlin was found in a pool of blood just yards from his home in Battersea, south west London, pictured

Mr Tomlin was found in a pool of blood just yards from his home in Battersea, south west London, pictured

Gary Beech (pictured), 48, and Michael Swan, 45, were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey yesterday following a three-week trial

Gary Beech (pictured), 48, and Michael Swan, 45, were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey yesterday following a three-week trial

Beech and Swan (pictured) are facing life in prison for the murder

Beech and Swan (pictured) are facing life in prison for the murder

Gary Beech (left), 48, and Michael Swan, 45, were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey yesterday following a three-week trial. They are facing life in prison for the murder

Judge Rebecca Poulet QC remanded them in custody ahead of sentencing next Friday.

Mr Tomlin lived in a ground floor flat while his young son and daughter, who have not been named, lived with their mother on the second floor.

HOW 2018 MURDER RATE COMPARES TO THE PAST DECADE
YEAR                                  LONDON MURDERS 
2008 154
2009 131
2010 124
2011 119
2012 105
2013 107
2014 94
2015 122
2016 111
2017 118
2018  134 

The victim’s father Cecil Tomlin, part of the Windrush Generation who migrated from Jamaica to the UK in the 1950s, has urged the government to tackle Britain’s surging murder rates.

After Ian was killed, he said: ‘All this needs to stop. The government, when they catch these people with drugs they should charge them and put them in prison for life.’

Opening the trial, prosecutor Alexandra Healy, QC, said: ‘The location where he was killed was in the first-floor lift lobby.

‘He was lying next to the bin chute opposite the lift. He was hit repeatedly on the head with a baseball bat. He was also stabbed a number of times.

‘They leave the lift area where they have carried out an extraordinarily violent attack on Mr Tomlin. There was a history of tension between Ian Tomlin and the two defendants.’

Beech, of Charlotte Despard Avenue, Battersea, and Swan, of Enterprise Way, Wandsworth, denied but were convicted of murder.

Swan denied but was convicted of perverting the course of justice.

The killers will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 17 May. 

This map shows where the murders across London have happened in 2018

This map shows where the murders across London have happened in 2018

This map shows where the murders across London have happened in 2018

This map shows the number and locations of homicides in London in 2019

This map shows the number and locations of homicides in London in 2019

This map shows the number and locations of homicides in London in 2019

Figures showed 2018 was London’s bloodiest year in a decade, with more than 130 people murdered in the capital.

Rising gun and knife crime has brought the total 2018 figure of homicides being investigated by Scotland Yard to 134 – the highest since 2008 when there were 154.

Police battled against 180 violent gangs across London dragging children into crime, amid more than 70 deaths in 2018 involving a knife, and a dozen with a gun.

It was also the worst on record for the knife murders of young people – with 37 children and teenagers stabbed to death in Britain, including 24 in London.

Murders in London peaked in February last year when the rate rose past that of New York, with Scotland Yard looking at 15 suspicious deaths and the NYPD investigating 11.

This week London recorded its 45th murder after Junior Urugbezi-Edwards was found stabbed to death in Elephant and Castle on Sunday.   

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