A Kingston man has been cleared of the murder of a love rival who he repeatedly stabbed to death, after the Old Bailey jury accepted that he had “lost control”.
Andrew Nichols of Excelsior Close, Kingston, who had already pleaded guilty to manslaughter, fatally wounded Colin Bolton in what was described as “a fit of rage and jealousy”’.
Nichols, 45, confronted the 28-year-old at a friend’s flat in the Kingsnympton estate last June after discovering he was dating his girlfriend. The court heard how Nichols punched and stabbed Mr Bolton several times before fleeing.
Paramedics were called but Mr Bolton suffered a stab wound to the heart and was pronounced dead at the scene. Nichols fled to his brother’s home in Hampshire and was apprehended by police the following day.
Nichols defence team argued that Mr Bolton, of Sheephouse Way, Old Malden, had ‘goaded’ him about the relationship with his girlfriend Michelle Dooley.
Mr Bolton had reportedly posted about the relationship on Facebook and gave Nichols a photo of himself and Miss Dooley kissing.
Roger Thornton, an old school friend of Nichols and tenant of the flat where the stabbing took place, described him as “a totally different person to what I have known.”
Nichols told the court that he had little recollection of the stabbing but later realised his wrongdoing.
Detective Sergeant Rory Wilkinson, of the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “Colin Bolton had everything to live for. He had a loving family and friends, was a successful electrical engineer and had just started a new relationship.
“Nichols was unwilling to accept the new situation and he killed Mr Bolton in a fit of rage and jealousy.
“We can only hope that today’s conviction brings some solace to Mr Bolton’s family.”
Nichols is due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on 14 March.
Written by Joseph Champion