Man who stabbed neighbour 27 times on front lawn jailed for 'horror movie murder'

·4 min read
Can Arslan going to the home of Peter Marsden in Gloucestershire followed by off-duty police officer Steve Wilkinson (PA)
Can Arslan going to the home of Peter Marsden in Gloucestershire followed by off-duty police officer Steve Wilkinson. (PA)

A man who stabbed his neighbour to death on his front lawn after a long-running feud has been jailed for life.

Matthew Boorman, 43, died after being stabbed by 52-year-old Can Arslan 27 times after coming home from work on 5 October last year.

Arslan had denied murder, claiming his diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder lessened the offence to one of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but was convicted after a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

He admitted wounding Mr Boorman’s wife Sarah, who he stabbed in the leg when she tried to pull him off her husband, and the attempted murder of another neighbour, Peter Marsden.

The victims had been taking legal action against Arslan to try to get him evicted from the estate.

Matthew Boorman was killed by his neighbour (PA)
Matthew Boorman was killed by his neighbour. (PA)

Jailing Arslan for life with a minimum term of 38 years, Mrs Justice Cutts said: “On that afternoon, for no reason at all, you took the life of a decent family man, robbed his children of their father, his wife of her husband, and his mother and siblings of a much-loved son and brother.”

Arslan also received concurrent sentences of 20 years for the attempted murder of Mr Marsden, six years for wounding Mrs Boorman and 16 months for affray.

Justice Cutts said: “You have shown no guilt or remorse at any stage about Mr Boorman’s death – rather you were telling the psychiatrists who examined you before your trial that he deserved to die.

“You have continued to utter threats to your neighbours from prison. You are without doubt a highly dangerous man.

“I see no mitigation in your case. I acknowledge you suffer from a personality disorder, this did not diminish your responsibility for what occurred, you acted rationally and in a controlled way throughout this terrible incident and you understood the consequences of your actions.”

Arslan had threatened his neighbours in Walton Cardiff, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, for 12 years, and had been charged with harassment just one week before the murder.

On 13 May last year, Mr Boorman — who was a father-of-three — revealed in a statement that he feared for his safety and that of his family.

He said: “I am very alarmed he made references in his conversations about missing prison and wanting to be arrested.

“I genuinely fear his conversation was meant to be overheard by us, to let us know that he isn’t scared of the police, is willing to go to prison, and when he is released he won’t forget about the incident.

“I also believe he’s trying to intimidate us into not making complaints to the police. I am very scared of what Mr Arslan can do.”

A police officer had phoned Arslan about a complaint he had made a day before the attack.

Another angle of Can Arslan and off-duty police officer Steve Wilkinson (PA)
Another angle of Can Arslan and off-duty police officer Steve Wilkinson. (PA)

During the call, Arslan verbally abused the officer and told him he would sort his neighbour out himself, adding “I will murder him”.

After killing Mr Boorman, Arslan forced his way into the home of another neighbour, Mr Marsden, and stabbed him eight times.

Mr Marsden said Arslan had “bullied, abused and threatened” his family for 12 years but this had escalated since 2018 following an alleged scratch to the defendant’s wife’s car.

He also said: “He told me he’s crazy and has murdered people before and would do it again.”

Although Arslan admitted to the attempted murder of Mr Marsden, causing grievous bodily harm to Mrs Boorman and a charge of affray, he denied the murder of Mr Boorman.

He instead claimed he was guilty of manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility.

These claims were rejected by the jury which convicted him of murder.

Arslan was subsequently remanded to Broadmoor secure hospital until sentencing.

The whole incident was caught in graphic detail on the neighbourhood’s many CCTV and doorbell cameras.

Mr Marsden was one of those neighbours who felt compelled because of the threats to install multiple expensive security upgrades which included a CCTV system with triple recording locations.

This led to Arslan being subject to an injunction, at the time of the murder, which prohibited him from threatening or abusing his neighbours.

Following his unanimous conviction outside Bristol Crown Court, Mr Boorman’s sister, Sarah Elston spoke.

Mugshot of Can Arslan (PA)
Mugshot of Can Arslan. (PA)

She said: “We will never be the same without him, but as we move forward and learn how to cope without him, we fight in his name to expose not only the malice and cruelty of the man that did this, but also the failings in the system that let this happen.

“The police and other authorities had been told about how dangerous this man was, the threats he made, and the risks he presented. The response was toothless and ineffective, even when the defendant himself told the police he was going to murder Matthew.

“But Matthew’s story must not end here. We must all ask ourselves why this was able to happen, and how things were ever allowed to get this far. Mistakes were made.”

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