Man convicted of the manslaughter of Ryan Merna in Poole

08 August 2017

A man has been found guilty of the manslaughter of Ryan Merna.

Paul Robert Taylor, 50 and of no fixed abode, was convicted today, Tuesday 8 August 2017, following a 16-day trial at Winchester Crown Court.

He was found guilty of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He was acquitted of the charge of murder. Sentencing was adjourned until a later date.

The court heard that at 1.35pm on Sunday 14 August 2016 officers were called to reports of a fight taking place and the sound of screaming coming from a ground floor flat at Greenwood Cottages in Wessex Road in Poole.

When officers arrived, one spotted Paul Taylor coming out of the side of the flats. She challenged him and he stopped, raised his bloodstained hands and said: “Best get in there. Hopefully he’s dead by now.”

The court heard that officers went into the property and found victim Ryan Merna at the bottom of the stairs in the communal hallway. He had been stabbed multiple times. Despite their best efforts the 29-year-old, who lived in one of the flats, died at the scene.

Taylor was arrested at the scene and when cautioned, replied: “I hope I’ve murdered him. That would make my day. Go on cheer me up and tell me he’s dead.”

A murder investigation was launched led by detectives from Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT).

A post mortem examination concluded that Ryan died from stab wounds to his chest and abdomen.

Detective Sergeant Mark Fossey, of MCIT, said: “I hope the verdict of the jury today will bring some sense of closure for Ryan’s family and friends during what has been a very traumatic time."

In a statement, Ryan's family said: "Ryan was a very much-loved son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend who meant a great deal to us.  

"This past year without Ryan part of our loves has been very difficult and we, his family, will continue to think of him as the kind, generous, sensitive boy he was."

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