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Life sentence for killer of retired Wirral greengrocer
2:09pm Tuesday 4th September 2012 in News
A young Birkenhead man was put behind bars for life today for the murder of a retired greengrocer and stealing his life savings.
20-year-old Dean Brennan said he stabbed disabled Herbert Allanson to death in his own home after the pensioner made unwanted sexual advances towards him.
Brennan stabbed him 12 times with a 19cm kitchen knife - including wounds to his voice box and neck - before stealing his £13,500 cash and leaving him to die, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
Nigel Power, QC, prosecuting, said the fatal attack took place late on March 22 this year in Mr Allanson’s house on Dawson Avenue in Birkenhead.
He said the victim, who had a prosthetic left lower leg, died from stab wounds inflicted by Brennan.
Mr Power said Brennan had complained to a college tutor a year earlier that Mr Allanson, who worked at a fruit and veg stall at Birkenhead market, had kissed him on the neck while he was at his home decorating for him.
He was advised not to return but did not take the advice and between 9.45pm and11 pm on March 22, neighbours heard a commotion from Mr Allanson's home during which the fatal injuries were inflicted.
At the time Brennan, of Laird Street, was unemployed and in debt, owing "everything everywhere," said Mr Power.
After the killing he returned home and told his mum that he had stabbed him as he had tried to rape him and his mother called the police.
He told his brother that the victim had tried to touch his legs and he panicked and grabbed the kitchen knife and stabbed him.
When interviewed by police Brennan he claimed he had done it because he had been "mauling" him.
Asked to explain he said he had been invited to the house and Mr Allanson tried to do "the same thing …like last time."
"He said he was standing close hugging him, saying that he wanted to take him on holiday, that he loved him."
He said he had not been raped - "cos I stabbed him."
Brennan pleaded guilty to murder and theft on the basis that it was not premeditated and he did not do it for money.
Jailing him for life, with a minimum term of 15 years, Judge John Roberts said, "No sentence I pass can ever bring back Herbert Allanson or stop the pain and loss felt by those close to him."
He warned him he may never be released and it would be up to the Parole Board to decide.
Brian Cummings QC, defending, said his client had a low IQ, was socially vulnerable and easily led.
He told the court that although it was easy to make up accusations about a person who could not defend themselves, Brennan’s story was given credence by the fact Mr Allanson was known to be gay and "had a liking for the company of young men."