A senior police officer has thanked the community of Kennard House for helping to solve the "evil" murder of much-loved pensioner, Paul Peters.

Detective Inspector Gary Arthur, at the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, Lewisham Police Station, said witness statements from neighbours were key to the conviction of Wayne Edwards, 34, and Anton Sanderson, 25, at the Old Bailey today.

He said: “What solved the case was the community - what they heard that night. There was also the CCTV from the estate, which showed us the ins and outs of their movements and their multiple changes of clothing.

“Mr Peters was killed by his grandsons. It was a hideous crime and the shocking injuries included 33 cracked ribs. He was assaulted using whatever weapons came to hand - being kicked and stamped.

“I’d like to thank the members of my team and the local community who assisted us.”

The pair were jailed for life at 4.05pm today with a minimum term of 20 years each after the jury found them guilty of murder unanimously.

Paul Peters, of Francis Chichester Way, Battersea, was beaten to death on Saturday, May 2 last year.

When police interviewed Edwards he maintained that he had fallen asleep as the result of drinking too much alcohol and did not wake until 1am on Sunday, May 3.

He claimed he awoke to find his grandfather dead, and saw and did nothing.

However, CCTV evidence showed that this was not true, as did evidence given by neighbours who saw and heard him.

On the Saturday, neighbours heard smashing glass and fighting from Paul Peters's flat. By 10pm the noise had stopped.

Both Edwards and Sanderson were seen at various stages on CCTV leaving the property, having changed their clothes to hide the fact they had just beaten Mr Peters to death.

Neighbours were woken by the sound of footsteps and furniture being dragged around as they tried to clear up the evidence of the attack, disposing of the weapons, bedding and tissues down the communal rubbish chute.

At approx 8.30am on Sunday, Loxley Peters, the son of Paul Peters and uncle of the defendants visited the flat.

He found the body of Paul Peters in the kitchen, half naked and covered in bruises.

Edwards was arrested at the scene at 9.20am on suspicion of murder and Sanderson was arrested later that day.

DI Arthur added: "The 20 years will give them time to reflect on the evilness of their crimes."