Torrington Car Park murder trial is thrown out

    A homeless man’s murder trial was thrown out when a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to convict two defendants.
    In March rough sleeper Giles Metcalfe, 43, died from burns and smoke inhalation hours after settling down for the night in the stairwell of Torrington Car Park, opposite Tunbridge Wells railway station.
    Two men were accused of killing him. Lighter fluid was found on the sleeping bag of former supermarket worker Mr Metcalfe and the court heard a single flame ignited it.
    His body was discovered by firefighters shortly after 3am on March 7 next to the open bottle of accelerant and two lighters.
    After previously pleading not guilty to murdering Mr Metcalfe, Dean Lewis, 34, of no fixed address, and James Marshall-Gunn, 30, of Hadlow Road, Tonbridge, were acquitted at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday (November 1).
    Judge Philip Statman halted the case in September due to lack of evidence. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision last week – meaning both defendants were cleared.
    The judge said there was no hostility between the pair and there was no evidence to disprove Mr Metcalfe set himself alight accidentally or intentionally.
    An inquest formally opened into his death in March but Kent Coroners Court is still deciding whether or not a hearing will go ahead. No date has been set.