Man is found guilty of murdering his girlfriend and her friend

Man, 50, is found guilty of murdering his girlfriend and her friend by slitting their throats in separate attacks within weeks of being released from jail

  • Lee Peacock, 50, was out to ‘punish’ partner Sharon Pickles and Clinton Ashmore
  • ‘Warped and angry’ Peacock had only been released from prison on June 4, 2021

A man has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend and her friend by slitting their throats in separate attacks within weeks of being released from jail.  

‘Warped and angry’ Lee Peacock, 50, has been found guilty of murdering Sharon Pickles, 46, and Clinton Ashmore, 59, in separate attacks in Westminster over two days.

He killed Ms Pickles before wrapping her body in a duvet and hiding it under the bed on August 16, 2021.

Peacock then went to the home of Mr Ashmore and slit his throat too. He claimed Mr Ashmore was part of a gang he blamed for exploiting Ms Pickles while he was in jail by selling her drugs.

The Old Bailey heard Peacock was out to ‘punish’ his partner and her friend during a two-day violent spree.

The self-confessed burglar and thief turned the 4cm-long knife on himself when police tracked him down to a houseboat on the Grand Union Canal after a five-day manhunt. 

Lee Peacock, pictured, has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of the double murder of his girlfriend and an associate

Lee Peacock has been on trial over the murders of  Sharon Pickles, left, and Clinton Ashmore, right, at separate addresses in central London, hours apart, last August

Peacock, who had only been released from prison on June 4 2021, admitted killing the pair but denied it was murder.

He claimed the death of his ‘other half’ was a ‘pure accident’ and that Mr Ashmore ‘went mental’ and punched him in the head after Peacock confessed to killing Ms Pickles.

A jury retired at the Old Bailey on Tuesday and deliberated for two hours and 20 minutes to find Peacock guilty of the double murder.

Five members of the victims’ families celebrated and cried as the verdicts were delivered, while Peacock showed no emotion. 

Ms Pickles’ father David Pickles said in a victim impact statement that losing his daughter had had a devastating effect, only two years after the death of his wife in 2019.

He said: ‘It left me numb, I have found it impossible to celebrate birthdays or even Christmas because my daughter wasn’t at rest and had no peace.

‘It doesn’t feel real that Sharon is gone, I miss her more than words can describe.’

Her brother Robert Pickles said: ‘When details started emerging about Sharon’s death I couldn’t comprehend what had happened.

‘The last 17 months have taken a toll mentally and psychically. The hardest part was listening to someone trying to excuse and justify their actions.’

Ms Pickles also left behind a daughter.

Mr Ashmore’s sister Claire Ashmore said: ‘Clint had a great life and met people from all over the world.

‘We loved him dearly. No words can share the pain caused, our world is shattered and changed forever.

‘We had to tell our elderly frail mother her son had been killed, the worst news to tell a parent. We had to watch her bury her first-born son.

‘Souls like Clint are rare, the kindest soul ever, he was not only our brother but our friend, someone who shone brightly in this world and his life was cruelly put out by someone who gave no thought or care for his actions.’

Peacock had previously told jurors: ‘I know I’m not a monster. I never wanted to harm my partner. Clinton, I’m sorry but he caused it. 

‘He moved in on my woman and then told me that he did and with a rain of punches.’

He had an appalling criminal record for multiple burglaries and thefts before he even met Ms Pickles Peacock in 2004.

Peacock told jurors he came from a good family in Hertfordshire and went to school in St Albans.

But he started smoking cannabis when he was 14, before progressing to LSD, Ecstasy, MDMA, cocaine and eventually crack.

He was released from prison just two months before the killings but said: ‘I’ve never been violent up until what happened, I wasn’t even violent in the 15 years I’d been with her.

‘Obviously for chunks I was in jail, but she was my princess, not a hair on her head would ever get hurt, by me, or if I was around.’

Ed Brown, KC, prosecuting, said Peacock murdered Ms Pickles when she laughed at him and said he did not have the courage to kill anyone. 

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