Rochford man jailed for murder of friend

A man who was found guilty of the murder of his friend has been jailed. 

Perry Coulson, 39, of Lesney Gardens, Rochford, appeared at Basildon Crown Court today, Friday August 11, where he was sentenced to life in prison, to serve a minimum 16 years.

The sentence concludes a murder investigation, led by Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate which was launched on Friday November 25 2022, following reports of a man being seriously assaulted at an address in Lesney Gardens, Rochford.

VICTIM: Dominic Clark-Ellingford

Despite the best efforts of emergency services, 32-year-old father of two Dominic Clark-Ellingford died at the scene.

The call to police came from a family member of Coulson, who he had called for help shortly after the assault.

When police arrived, Coulson was sat outside the front of the address in a car.

Whilst in custody, Coulson made a number of significant comments including saying “this is what alcohol and cocaine causes, it’s my friend, that was my mate, I can’t believe it.”

Enquiries showed that the pair had known each other for around 20 years and had recently become close. It was claimed that the two had argued before Coulson fatally assaulted Mr Clark-Ellingford with a large zombie knife.

Coulson was charged with murder on November 27 2022 and remanded into custody.

During a seven-day trial at Basildon Crown Court, Coulson tried to argue that the murder was an act of self-defence. The court heard how Mr Clark-Ellingford had been attacked and left in the flat to die, while Coulson left the address and made attempts to conceal the weapon he had used.

The knife was located close to the scene by police search dogs.

On Friday July 21 a jury found Coulson guilty of murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Julie Gowen said “This was a tragic murder over a futile argument which has left two children without a father.

“In a previous tribute the family described Mr Clark-Ellingford as a loving son and a doting father to his two young children.

“My thoughts today are with Dominic’s family and while no sentence will ever bring Dominic back, I hope this will allow them some peace, to move forward with their lives.”