A man who stabbed a passenger to death in a row on a train has been found guilty of murder.
Lee Pomeroy was travelling with his 14-year-old son when he was stabbed 18 times by Darren Pencille on the Guildford to London service.
Jurors at the Old Bailey rejected Pencille’s claim he acted in self defence.
Mr Pomeroy died with his son next to him at Horsley station on 4 January, the day before his 52nd birthday.
Pencille, who was diagnosed having paranoid schizophrenia, killed the father-of-one when a “chance encounter” escalated into a frenzied and fatal attack, the court heard.
He first stabbed Mr Pomeroy in the neck, then inflicted 17 more injuries in the 20 seconds that followed.
Pencille’s girlfriend Chelsea Mitchell, of Farnham, Surrey, was found guilty by a majority of 11-1 of assisting him.
Charles Falk, representing Mitchell, said in mitigation she had showed a “misguided sense of loyalty driven by her dependence.”
The court heard a victim impact statement from Mr Pomeroy’s widow, Svetlana, who described his murder as a “senseless loss of life” which had been made worse because it happened in front of their son.
She said: “I miss my husband every day and to compound the situation [his son] was with his father when he died.
“I have lost my friend, my soul mate and my guide. Lee loved life and it’s been cruelly cut short.
“On Friday January 4 my life and that of my son changed forever. My husband of 18 years died in a sudden, violent and distressing way.”
She said her husband was a vibrant, highly intelligent perfectionist, a loving father and her “guiding light”.
With regards to their son, who cannot be named for legal reasons, Mrs Pomeroy wrote: “He’s frightened to be alone at night. He is terrified of loss and of losing me. He’s returned to school but seems to have lost perspective.”
Mr Pomeroy and his son got into the same carriage as Pencille at London Road, Guildford, and made their way down the aisle before the row started.
Jurors heard they may have been blocking Pencille’s way, prompting him to make the remark: “Ignorance is bliss.”
The row escalated into swearing as Mr Pomeroy demanded an apology but then Pencille produced a knife and stabbed him in the neck, cutting through the jugular vein.
The court heard Pencille had 14 previous convictions for 19 difference offences over a 19-year period, including possession of offensive weapons, violence and dishonesty.
Mitchell had seven previous convictions for 10 different offences, including assault, threatening behaviour, drunk and disorderly behaviour and battery.