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Murdered man was 'generous and kind-hearted father'

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

FAMILY and friends of a Pool man murdered in a violent attack at his home have paid tribute to the "generous and kind-hearted" father of two.

On Friday Somes McFarland, 28, was found guilty of murdering former roofer Peter Oates, 51, following a week-long trial.

Both men lived at the Henley House hostel in Fore Street when the violence took place on March 25.

Truro Crown Court heard that Mr Oates, an alcoholic, suffered 19 fractures of the ribs and injuries to his head and neck when McFarland battered him in his room using his hands and feet.

Following the verdict, Mr Oates's family described him as a loving son, brother, uncle and nephew with many friends. Sister Diana Gould said he was well loved by everyone who knew him and "used to put our mum first, he was very loving".

She added: "Peter had four brothers and four sisters and he was the second oldest boy.

"He loved looking after his pigeons, 'his birds' as he used to call them. It was a hobby he loved earlier in his life."

Relatives also said Peter was a friendly man who took care of both his family and friends.

A statement said: "He was a generous man, kind-hearted and although he had problems in his life he always remained cheerful and positive.

"Everybody loved Peter and he was well known in Pool where he lived before he died.

"We still find it hard to believe that Peter is no longer with us and find it difficult to comprehend the tragic circumstances in which he died."

The family said they were pleased that justice had been done.

Mike Firbank, rector of Camborne, met Peter in the churchyard when he first arrived in the town.

He described his attitude as a mixture of rebellion against society and respect for the sacred.

He said: "For the past two years he spent each and every day picking up litter in the churchyard and telling others off for littering.

"He had experienced some considerable sadness in his life and it often troubled him. I, for one, miss him."

After just under seven hours of deliberating the jury found McFarland guilty of murder by an 11-1 majority. His defence team had argued he was drunk at the time of the assault and had no memory of his actions.

Mr Justice Burnett remanded McFarland in custody until December 21 for sentencing.

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