Lover jailed for Swanwick car boot murder

Image caption, Paula Poolton was stabbed seven times

A man has been jailed for at least 15 years for killing his lover and hiding her body in the boot of her car.

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

At the Royal Courts of Justice in London Roger Kearney, 57, of Sarisbury Green, was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 15 years.

The court heard the pair had been having an affair in the summer of 2008.

Football stewards

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.

Mrs Poolton's husband, Ricky, was initially arrested on suspicion of murder and held on bail for five months until he was released without charge.

Kearney had worked with Mrs Poolton when they were stewards at Southampton Football Club but her husband and his partner were unaware of the affair.

Prosecuting, Nicholas Haggan QC said that Mrs Poolton had told friends she wanted to leave her husband but Kearney was in fact "tiring" of the relationship.

Image caption, Roger Kearney also lied to police about his whereabouts

Mr Haggan said on the day she disappeared Mrs Poolton told her friend Carol Bertie she had been looking for a house to buy to move in with Kearney and was meeting him that night.

The jury was told she was prone to going on "benders" and her husband did not raise the alarm until a few days after she failed to return home on 17 October.

Police soon found out about the affair and questioned Kearney as a witness.

Mr Haggan said that significantly he referred to his lover in the past tense on several occasions.

The Royal Mail driver also lied about his whereabouts during a crucial hour after Mrs Poolton's Peugeot was last seen on CCTV.

Kearney said he had left for a night shift at 2200 BST for the 15-minute drive to work when CCTV footage showed he left home at 2131 BST. He also lied about the route.

When he got home after work he washed all his clothing including his fluorescent jacket, jurors were told.

Kearney was convicted last week at Winchester Crown Court.

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