Bridgnorth murder-suicide: Pensioner stabbed neighbour over caravan site dispute

A pensioner stabbed a dog-walker to death before taking his own life in the culmination of a 10-year feud over how a caravan site was run, an inquest heard.

Kevin Davis, inset, died after being stabbed at Knowle Sands Caravan Park, in Bridgnorth
Kevin Davis, inset, died after being stabbed at Knowle Sands Caravan Park, in Bridgnorth

Kevin John Davies was a popular former factory supervisor who lived at the Knowle Sands Caravan Park near Bridgnorth with his wife and dogs.

On the afternoon of May 21 this year he took his dogs for a walk and while walking on a nearby path he was stabbed at least five times by Kelvin John Hanks, another resident of the caravan site who had long-standing disagreements with Mr Davies.

Mr Davies’ wife was alerted when one of the dogs ran home without him, and his body was soon discovered on the path close to the site.

Kevin Davies

Hanks, who was 73, immediately drove to a bridge nearby and hanged himself after killing Mr Davies with a sharpened screwdriver.

In documents that were found after the attack, he had written about “exacting revenge”. He had also researched the effects of stab wounds online.

Mr Davies, originally from Wolverhampton, was 67 when he died, and was on the management committee of the caravan site.

Inquests were held this week into both men’s deaths, and Shropshire’s coroner Mr John Ellery heard that there had been a dispute between Hanks and the committee for several years.

Knowle Sands Caravan Park, where the two men died

Hanks refused to contribute money to the management of the site and in 2012 had been taken to court and ordered to pay upwards of £70,000.

A few days before the fatal attack, the two men had met and Hanks said words to the effect of “I’m going to wipe that smile off your face”.

The inquest at Shirehall in Shrewsbury heard that CCTV footage from the day of the murder showed Mr Davies approaching Hanks’ property as well as Hanks walking with an implement in his hand.

DC Steve Davies, who investigated the case, gave evidence to the inquest.

Police at the scene

He said that there had been a dispute and discord between the two men for many years.

After hearing from the detective, Mr Ellery made his formal conclusions that Mr Davies was killed unlawfully and that Hanks died by suicide.

He said that although Hanks’ name would not appear in the official record of Mr Davies’ death, “the facts speak for themselves”.

Several of Mr Davies’ family members and friends attended his inquest and there were no members of the public present for Hanks’ inquest.

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