Sobantu Sibanda, a 28-year-old former financial advisor, has been found guilty of murdering Guy Malbec, a disabled barrister who was living on the streets of Canterbury. The son of a university lecturer and social worker, Sibanda admitted to the manslaughter but denied the murder charge, insisting he only intended to cause “some harm.”
The prosecution alleged that Sibanda’s co-defendants, Gavin Houghton, Keith Hall, and Airidas Sakalauskas, acted as his “henchmen” and actively participated in and encouraged the violent attack. The incident took place in Castle Street car park on Easter Sunday, where Malbec had been residing in a tent due to homelessness.
Malbec, 51, had significant leg injuries and relied on a walking frame, stick, or wheelchair for mobility. Although qualified as a barrister in 1998, he never practiced and became homeless upon returning to the UK in December 2022.
The gruesome attack, witnessed by three other men associated with a local charity aiding the homeless, left Malbec with severe head and facial injuries, broken ribs, and a significant brain injury. Sibanda used a hammer and a laptop in the assault, with both items bearing the victim’s blood and Sibanda’s DNA.
After the attack, the perpetrators left the scene with Malbec still alive, stealing his phone, bank card, and gemstones. Hours later, Sakalauskas and Houghton returned, discovering Malbec’s death. They, along with Sibanda, disposed of over 80 items, including weapons used in the attack and blood-stained bedding, found later in council bins.
The fourth defendant, Keith Hall, deleted messages and call logs to conceal evidence of contact with Houghton before and after the attack. Rachael Savage from CPS South East described the incident as a “horrendous and brutal attack” on a defenseless man. Tragically, evidence suggests that Malbec was still alive after the assailants left him and may have survived for a period before succumbing to his injuries.