Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Car boot murder woman's parents speak of their sorrow

The parents of a woman who was killed and hidden in the boot of her car by her lover said "justice had been done" after he was jailed for life.

Paula Poolton, 40, of Titchfield, Fareham, was found near Swanwick rail station, Hampshire, on 28 October 2008, 11 days after she went missing.

Roger Kearney, 57, of Sarisbury Green, was given 15 years and ordered to serve a minimum of 15 years on Thursday.

Philip and Jennifer Cross said: "It is a parent's worst nightmare."


The court heard Mrs Poolton and Kearney had been having an affair in the summer of 2008.

They were stewards at Southampton Football Club but her husband and his partner were unaware of the liaison.

Image caption Paula Poolton was stabbed seven times

Kearney stabbed her to death when she started putting pressure on him to leave his partner, the court was told. He then fabricated an alibi to cover his tracks.

Mr Cross told BBC News: "Paula was girl who enjoyed life. From her early days at school she had a mind of her own.

"She was a happy-go-lucky type of girl [who] didn't like too much discipline."

According to her parents, at the time of Mrs Poolton's disappearance, she had made the decision to have her 15-year-old cat put down because he had cancer.

"The day she went missing she had her cat cremated and she was very upset," said Mrs Cross.

"We thought that was why she had gone off somewhere."

The pair realised all was not well when Mrs Poolton failed to see her father on his birthday.

Their worst suspicions were confirmed when the police revealed they had discovered the body of a woman.

"We were 99% sure - everything pointed to it being Paula," said Mrs Cross.

Mr Cross, who identified her body, said: "We were devastated. She looked very peaceful so I bent down and kissed her.

"It was a terrible experience for any parent to go through but at least [Kearney] has got his comeuppance."

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