Rent boy accused of murdering lover found guilty of manslaughter

Rent boy accused of murdering lover found guilty of manslaughter

Ricardo Pisano was found guilty of manslaughter

Michael Polding was discovered dead in his Brighton flat last July

First published in News
Last updated
by , Chief Reporter

A rent boy accused of murdering his lover after bleeding him dry financially has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Ricardo Pisano killed Michael Polding who he met in 2009 and lived with in Croydon, before following him down to the coast in Brighton at the end of 2011.

Mr Polding's body was found by police two months after his death neatly positioned and wrapped up in bedding at his two-bedroom basement flat.

The 62-year-old died from a blunt force trauma to the chest in May, but was not discovered until July 16, 2012.

Pisano, 36, claimed he returned home to find Mr Polding, who he called St Mikes, had committed suicide by hanging himself from a bannister.

But after deliberating for 29 hours and nine minutes the jury rejected his defence and found him not guilty of murder, but guilty of the lesser charge.

He was also found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm and had previously admitted preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body.

On being convicted, Pisano, known as The Artful Dodger, shouted from the dock, “I hope you sleep well at night. I'm innocent”.

Pisano evaded capture for nearly a year until he was arrested at a house in Southampton on May 7, under a different name.

Giving evidence he told Lewes Crown Court he fled the scene after finding Mr Polding's body because he feared deportation to South Africa where a "fatwa" had been issued against him by People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) who deemed him "troublesome or a threat."

An victim impact statement from Patrick Polding, a relative of Mr Polding, was read out.

As Pisano sat with his head in his hands, the court was told Mr Polding's family were devastated because he had died in “considerable pain”.

Members of Mr Polding's family were in court for the verdict and embraced as it was read out.

Pisano is due to be sentenced this afternoon.

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