A 32-year-old man from Leatherhead has been found guilty of murder following a three week trial at Guildford Crown Court.
Daniel Styles (known locally as Daniel George Hopper) 32, of Clare Crescent in Leatherhead, has been found guilty of murder following the death of 54-year-old Phillip Bagwell on Wednesday, 10 June.
Officers were called to Phillip Bagwell’s home address in North Street in Leatherhead after neighbours discovered his body in the building’s lift. A swift investigation from Surrey and Sussex’s Major Crime Team identified Styles as the main suspect and he was arrested later that day. He was charged on Saturday, 13 June.
Hopper will appear at Guildford Crown Court tomorrow (11 December) to be sentenced.
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Friday of the Surrey & Sussex Major Crime Team, who led the investigation, said: “Our thoughts at this time are with Phillip’s family and friends and I hope that the outcome in court today will provide them with some answers as to how Phillip met his death, and help them begin to come to terms with what has happened.
“Daniel Styles killed Phillip in a brutal unprovoked attack in the early hours of the morning whilst they were out together in Leatherhead town centre. Styles punched and kicked Phillip about the head and body causing fatal injuries, before leaving him in the communal lift in the block of flats where Phillip lived. Phillip had allowed Styles to stay at his home during lockdown, where Styles went onto take advantage of his kindness, tormenting him, bullying him and treating Phillip’s home as his own. After the assault, Styles returned to Phillip’s flat where he went to sleep. Phillip was found the following morning.
“Phillip was a well-known figure in the local community, and Styles took advantage of his good nature and sought to exploit it. Phillip is survived by his two children.
“From the moment that Phillip’s body was discovered, the team worked tirelessly over many days, to maximise the amount of time we could hold Styles, whilst securing evidence to charge him. All involved in achieving this result have demonstrated their commitment to the investigation, making personal sacrifices, and I am very proud of them all.”
“I would also like to recognise the courage of the witnesses who came forward to give evidence.”