Borderer’s murderer given life sentence for fatal knife attack in London pub

Southwark murder victim Michael Boyle, of Galashiels.
Southwark murder victim Michael Boyle, of Galashiels.

The killer of a Borderer knifed to death in London has been jailed for life and told he won’t be freed for at least 25 years.

Michael Boyle, 44, of Galashiels, died of multiple organ failure in hospital in March after being stabbed in the chest at a pub in Southwark the month before.

Geoffrey Downs, killer of Galashiels man Michael Boyle in London.

Geoffrey Downs, killer of Galashiels man Michael Boyle in London.

Geoffrey Downs, 37, of Grosvenor Terrace in Camberwell, London, was initially accused of attempted murder, but that charge was amended to murder following the death of the married father of one on Saturday, March 10.

Downs pleaded guilty to that charge and possession of an offensive weapon at a court appearance last month, and he was given a life sentence with a quarter-century minimum tariff last Friday at Inner London Crown Court.

Co-defendant Derek Green, 48, of Langdale Close, Southwark, was jailed for two years and three months for assisting an offender.

The knife attack that killed Mr Boyle took place not long before 2am on Sunday, February 25, at the Sir Robert Peel pub in Langdale Close.

He had arrived at the pub at about 11.30pm and drank at least three pints of beer before being attacked, a licensing meeting heard.

He was taken to hospital by ambulance service but lost his fight for life two weeks later at King’s College Hospital.

A post-mortem examination carried out on Thursday, March 15, gave his cause of death as multiple organ failure and a stab wound to the chest.

After the sentencing hearing, Detective Sergeant Stuart Reeves, of the Met’s homicide and major crime command, said: “Mr Boyle was defenceless when he was attacked by Downs on that fatal morning in February and he tragically later died from his injuries.

“No sentence will make up for the tragic loss that the family and friends of Michael Boyle have had, and will continue, to endure. We hope that today’s sentences will provide some comfort to Michael’s family and friends”

Mr Boyle was buried at Mount Vernon Cemetery in Ednburgh in April after a funeral at St John Vianney’s Church in the capital’s Ferniside Gardens.