Man jailed for ‘phone rage’ murder in Greenwich

Michael Bowden

Bowden went out carrying a knife

A man who stabbed a stranger to “release his rage” at not being able to get through to his girlfriend’s phone has been jailed for life for murder.

Paul Martin, 25, of Blackheath, was stabbed five times in an “unprovoked attack” last March in Greenwich Church Street, Greenwich, south-east London.

Michael Bowden, 28, of Bermondsey, denied murder, claiming diminished responsibility due to bipolar disorder.

He will have to serve a minimum term of 22 years, an Old Bailey judge said.

Father-of-two Mr Martin, who was a plumber, was waiting for his partner Jessica Ryan after a night out with another couple when he was attacked on 29 March. Bowden, who had four previous convictions for violence in public places, went out drinking and carrying a knife as he tried to find his girlfriend while she was out with another man.

He had “stormed” out of the telephone box “an angry and frustrated man”, the Old Bailey heard.

Zoe Johnson, prosecuting, said: “The defendant confronted Paul Martin in an unprovoked and senseless attack.”

“The defendant was angry when he confronted a man he had never met before and released his rage on his unwitting victim.”

Bowden had drink and anger issues and was taking medication for a bipolar disorder, the court was told.

Victim Paul Martin

Paul Martin died from stab injuries

Judge Giles Forrester told Bowden: “On the 2 March, you told a psychiatrist that you might end up killing someone.

“You were concerned about your capacity for violence, particularly when in drink.

“You knew the dangers, yet you chose to go out armed with a knife.

“This was a tragedy waiting to happen.”

Det Insp Chris Stanley said: “I am pleased that this thug, Michael Bowden, is going to jail for the brutal and unprovoked murder of Paul Martin.

“Paul leaves behind two young children and the family has been utterly devastated by the senseless way in which Paul died.”

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