Grandson faces jail for £300 pension murder

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A teenager who murdered his frail grandfather during a botched robbery for his £300 pension money will find out next week how long he will spend in jail.

Stephen Lang was convicted on Thursday of killing 91-year-old Thomas Lang during the attack in the early hours of April 17, last year.

Lang, now 20, grabbed his grandfather around the neck and pushed him to the floor of his home in Launceston, Cornwall, leaving him seriously injured

Before fleeing Lang stole £300 from his grandfather’s wallet which was hidden under a pillow on his bed.

Despite his injuries Mr Lang was able to summon help and tell his son and police what had happened. The pensioner died three days later in hospital.

Simon Laws QC, prosecuting, told jurors that Lang had broken his grandfather’s neck during the assault.

“The motive had been robbery. The defendant stole a few hundred pounds while his grandfather was lying on the floor unable to move,” he said.

The jury at Truro Crown Court took just two hours to find Lang, of Launceston, guilty of murder.

The former factory worker faces life imprisonment and was due to find out yesterday how long he will spend in prison.

After hearing lengthy mitigation, Mr Justice Hamblen decided he wanted time to consider the sentence and will pass judgement on Monday.

The prosecution had submitted that the starting point for fixing a minimum term of imprisonment should be 30 years. However, Andrew Langdon QC, defending, said it should be around half that.

“The violence used was not to any extent planned or premeditated. It was totally unpleasant but does seem to be spontaneous,” Mr Langdon said.

Mr Lang’s family welcomed the verdict and said it would allow them to rebuild their lives after a difficult year.

“The fact that he was killed by his grandson Stephen, who had a good relationship with Tom, has devastated us as a family,” they said.

“Stephen had no reason to kill his grandfather, who would have gladly given him money had he asked for it.”

Detective Inspector Stuart Ellis, who led the investigation, said: “I cannot begin to understand Stephen Lang’s motivation for this crime, but the fact that he could inflict these injuries on his own grandfather is truly shocking.”