A New Barnet man has been found guilty of the “ruthless” murder of a neighbour.

Julian Anthony Williams, 35, of Bejun Court, Station Road, stabbed 42-year-old Joseph Fox to death with a large kitchen knife on January 23, leaving him to die in the stairwell of the apartment block they shared.

Williams was found guilty at the Old Bailey yesterday.

Williams' girlfriend, Zoe Langrish, 21, from the same address, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice after faking an alibi for her partner.

Detective Chief Inspector Tariq Sarwar said: "The attack, which was recorded on high quality CCTV, was ruthless.

"Williams, who had a propensity to carry knives, fled the scene and disposed of the weapon and clothing. He concocted a story with his partner, Zoe Langrish, in an attempt to cover and account for his actions.

"They put forward their account during their trial but fortunately the jury saw through it and discarded it.

"It is hoped that the convictions today are a stark warning to those who are prepared to pick up a knife."

Though the exact motive for the crime is unknown, the two men were known to dislike each other. Mr Fox, who lived on the ground floor in the flat below his attacker, regularly complained about noise from Williams' flat keeping him awake.

On the morning of January 23 Williams confronted his neighbour as he stepped out of a lift on the second floor of the apartment block. After arguing for a few minutes, Williams stabbed Mr Fox multiple times with a large kitchen knife, before leaving the premises and making his way to New Barnet train station.

A lift engineer found Mr Fox minutes later collapsed in a pool of blood. Despite first aid being given by members of the public, the police and the ambulance service, he died at the scene at 10.40am.

Martin Jones, 47, from Potters Bar, who knew Mr Fox for about 30 years, described him as “carefree” and “bouncy”.

He said: “Joe was an old mucker, a really nice bloke. A bit lively, a bouncy character, but a bit of a loner, wandering from place to place. I never met any of his family.

“We were old friends, knocking about together. He was always carefree, never worried about anything.”

Jonathan Malik, manager of the King’s Head pub on High Street, Barnet, barred Mr Fox in 2007, but admitted he liked him.

He said: “He was a bit of a bully, but he had a soft side to him. I used to throw him out as he was a pain and got into fights all the time.

“But I could calm him down. He wasn’t that bad. You could talk to him. ”

Williams and Langrish will be sentenced on October 23 at the Old Bailey.