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Murder accused launched 'merciless' fatal knife attack at Bexley gym over unpaid debt, court hears

PUBLISHED: 14:57 22 August 2019

Charles Riddington was wanted in connection with George Barker's muder. Picture: Met Police

Charles Riddington was wanted in connection with George Barker's muder. Picture: Met Police

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A Bexley gym user was "brutally stabbed to death" in a "merciless" attack by a man who then fled the country, a jury has been told.

Charles Riddington, 37, was armed with a lock knife and waiting with other men when George Barker, 24, was "ambushed" as he walked into Double K Gym in Bexley, south-east London, on November 14 2016, the Old Bailey heard.

In an attack that lasted just seconds, Mr Barker was stopped from getting out of the door as he suffered 17 wounds to the head, body and arms, including three fatal injuries to his left side, lung and spleen.

He was pronounced dead at 10.44am.

Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC also said: "Our case is that the defendant Mr Riddington went to the Double K Gym armed with a lock knife looking for Mr Barker.

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"It seems the defendant thought Mr Barker owed him some money."

He added: "Shortly after Mr Barker did arrive expecting to train, the defendant launched a merciless attack on him and fatally stabbed him with a knife before making off with the other men."

Mr Rees said Riddington believes he may have been "conned" by Mr Barker, who he knew as they both used the gym.

It is believed Riddington will claim he acted in self-defence and Mr Barker pulled the knife on him, the jury was told.

Riddington used a false passport to fly to Germany after the killing.

He was eventually extradited from northern Cyprus in November 2018 and charged.

Riddington, of Orpington, Kent, has pleaded not guilty to murder and to possessing an offensive weapon, namely a knife, at Littleworth Nurseries in Bexley on the same day as the murder.

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