Tenant who killed landlord jailed for 26 years after ‘barbaric murder’

A tenant who killed his landlord by torching him with petrol has been jailed for 26 years.

Sekou Soumare, 56, started the blaze at the property in Nottingham owned by Christopher Bonnick, 55.

Mr Bonnick had recently been on a six-month trip to Africa helping people build houses. On his return, he had moved into the property.

He had been trying to evict Soumare, who rented a room in the semi, after various complaints including an allegation that he had tried to stab someone.

Soumare alleged that Mr Bonnick owed him £600 deposit money and had refused to leave.

In March this year, after starting the fire in the kitchen, Soumare called police. Asked if there was anyone inside the property, Soumare said no.

However, Mr Bonnick was found inside, with 97% burns. He died the following day.

Soumare was arrested at the scene after confessing to starting the fire. In court the prosecution said he had either poured petrol over Mr Bonnick or thrown it at him.

Soumare had pleaded guilty to murder at Nottingham Crown Court earlier.

Sentencing him, Judge Michael Stokes said: “You grossly over-reacted to a situation that could have been dealt with in a much more civilised way.”

Det Chief Insp Leigh Sanders said: “This is one of the most barbaric murders I have ever investigated.

“Mr Bonnick died a prolonged and painful death.

“Not only did Soumare rob a family of their father and grandfather, he endangered the lives of other residents and destroyed his own home in the process.”

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