Richard Sherratt murder: Birmingham prostitute guilty

Richard Sherratt Richard Sherratt was subjected to a "callous and brutal ordeal"

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A drug-using prostitute has been found guilty of murdering a former client.

The body of Richard Sherratt, 57, was found at his flat in Old School Mews, Bridgnorth, Shropshire on 14 June.

Emma Bate, 26, from Aston, was convicted at Stafford Crown Court. She had admitted robbery and dishonestly making false representation but denied murder.

Paramjit Singh, 32, of Willmore Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham, had previously admitted all three charges.

During the two-week trial the court was told how Mr Sherratt was a former client of Bate but the relationship had soured before his murder.

Bate and Singh, both drug users, had gone to Mr Sherratt's flat in the early hours of 14 June to get money from him, the jury heard.

'Tortured'

Mr Sherratt suffered a number of injuries in an altercation with Bate and Singh and died from head injuries, a post-mortem examination found.

Police vehicles  Richard Sherratt's body was found in his first-floor flat in Bridgnorth

The pair then used his bank cards to withdraw money from his bank accounts.

Speaking after the verdict, Det Insp Steve Tonks, from West Mercia Police, said the motive for the crime was "clearly greed".

He said: "Both admitted being heavy users of crack-cocaine at the time of the incident and that they needed money to fund their lifestyle and pay off debts owed to drug dealers.

"It was a premeditated crime whereby they planned to rob Mr Sherratt and to commit fraud by withdrawing funds from his accounts.

"The court heard distressing details about the degree of violence used while Mr Sherratt was held captive and tortured in his own home last June.

"He was subjected to a callous and brutal ordeal with the injuries sustained sadly resulting in his death.

"I hope today's verdicts will bring a degree of closure for Mr Sherratt's family and friends."

Singh and Bate will be sentenced at Stafford Crown Court on 1 March.

A third defendant, Michael Smith, 51, of Horton Road, Tipton, was found not guilty of robbery and dishonestly making false representation.

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