John Dickson
John Dickson was sentenced to life imprisonment following the death of 20-year-old Carl Gregory in Broadstairs. Kent Police

A man has been handed a life prison sentence following the death of 20-year-old Carl Gregory in Broadstairs, Kent.

John Dickson, 27, was given a minimum of 18 years in prison after he kicked and strangled Gregory during an altercation at a shopping centre car park in Margate Road, shortly after 9.45pm on Tuesday 4 October 2016.

Gregory was later pronounced dead at the scene.

Dickson of Northdown Road, Cliftonville, was subsequently arrested and charged with Gregory's murder.

He denied the charge but was convicted on Wednesday (29 March) following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.

The jury heard how a friend of Gregory's had fallen out with him over a social media post, and that she had asked another man to speak to him about it.

He arranged to meet Gregory at the shopping centre and took Dickson with him. A fight broke out between the man and Gregory, which led to Dickson becoming involved and placing Gregory in a choke hold. The victim was also kicked while he was on the ground.

An ambulance was called after Gregory's body was discovered by workers who were leaving nearby shops, but he was declared dead at the scene. The cause of his death was later recorded as 'compression of the neck.'

Dickson was arrested at his home address later the same evening.

Detective Sergeant Ross Gurden of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: "This was a tragic death of a popular young man who had his whole life in front of him.

"Carl Gregory is sorely missed by his family and friends due to the actions of John Dickson, who went out of his way to confront him. I hope today's outcome is of comfort to all those who loved Carl.

"I hope this case reinforces the message that the use of violence to resolve issues can result in life-changing consequences. Dickson is a young man who will now serve a considerable length of time behind bars as a result of a complete disregard of the consequences of his actions."

A second man, Christopher Pollard, who was also charged with Gregory's murder was found not guilty by the jury.