A carpet fitter who stabbed a disabled former footballer and hid his body under the stairs in a rolled-up rug has been found guilty of murder.
John Allison, 36, knifed Daniel Pitham, 33, multiple times, including once through the heart, in an attack at the victim’s home in Bedworth, Warwickshire, on May 6 last year.
Allison and his friend Scott Warner, 36, then rolled his body in carpet and stuffed it in a cupboard under the stairs.
After the murder, Allison texted his wife Toni, 34, telling her: “I’ve done something really bad, baby. I’ve got to sort it before I end up in jail for years.”
She replied: “You need to get rid of your phone.”
Police discovered Pitham’s body the next day after his family became concerned when they were unable to contact him.
He had been repeatedly stabbed including through the heart, abdomen and liver, the court heard.
Prosecutor Kevin Hegarty said that on the night of his murder, Pitham had been drinking in a pub with the defendants.
Allison, of Bedworth, claimed he accidentally stabbed Pitham in self-defence but he was found guilty of murder following a six-week trial at Warwick Crown Court.
His wife was found guilty of two counts of perverting the course of justice. Warner, also of Bedworth, admitted to perverting the course of justice.
All three will be sentenced on March 6.
A talented defender representing Corby Town FC and Bedworth United, he lost an arm in a car crash in February 2018.
Pitham’s devastated family paid tribute to their first born child saying: “The taking of Danny’s life has left a huge hole in our lives that can never be filled. We are devastated by our loss and miss him greatly.
“He was our first born child and he has been taken from us in the most cruel and horrific way.
“Danny was taking the first steps on the road to regaining his independence, and had already been through so much.
"This has now been snatched from him and he will now never have the chance to fulfil his goals, aspirations and dreams.”
Detective Chief Inspector Anna Middleton, of Warwickshire Police Major Investigation Unit, said: “This was shocking and appalling crime for which Allison has shown no remorse.
“We may never know exactly what happened in the moments leading up to this incident but we do know that following an altercation Allison stabbed Daniel five times. One of these wounds killed him.
“Allison is clearly a dangerous man and today’s conviction will ensure he remains off the streets for a very long time.
“Where most decent people would have reported this horrific crime, Toni Allison and Scott Warner did everything they could to assist John Allison, cover his tracks and obstruct the police investigation.”
Bradley Gane, 40, of Coventry, was cleared of assisting an offender and perverting the course of justice. Lee Williams, 28, of Bedworth, was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice.