Boat killer gets 12 years jail

Published: Thursday, 23 July 2009

THE man who stabbed his partner and his best friend to death after he found them having sex on his narrowboat has been jailed for 12 years.

William Cranston, pictured, was cleared of their murders, as previously reported in narrowboatworld but convicted of manslaughter, by reason of provocation, Alan Tilbury reports.

He killed his partner Kay Morton and his best friend Paul Wilkins, after he discovered them having sex together on his boat at Stoke Hammond, on the Grand Union Canal.

At Kingston Crown Court, Judge Anthony Leonard QC told Cranston:

"You are responsible for the deaths of two individuals who did not deserve to die at your hands.

"It was clear when you gave your evidence that you showed remorse for what you had done and I felt that the remorse was genuine.

"I take into account that you tried to administer first aid as they lay in the cabin."

He however pointed out that the 12 year sentence was a necessary reflection of the seriousness of his action, and his sustained attack on Paul Wilkins.

At the trial in June, at Reading Crown Court it was heard how he, Ms Morton and Mr Wilkins had been drinking at a nearby pub before returning to the narrowboat where they continued drinking and smoking cannabis.

Cranston retired to bed, but woke up later to find his partner and his friend having sex, picked up a knife and stabbed them both to death.

Of his action, William Cranston told the court:

"I can't believe this has happened to everybody. I just walked in there and lost my rag completely."