Essex

Essex murder: Couple jailed for killing Clacton's Paul Gillett

Freya Parker-Magowan and Seth Stollery Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption The trial heard Freya Parker-Magowan and Seth Stollery tried to blame each other for the "barbaric and cruel" murder

A couple who murdered a man and set his flat on fire after he had shown "kindness" in letting the woman move in have been jailed for life.

Seth Stollery and Freya Parker-Magowan beat Paul Gillett, 54, to death at his flat in Clacton, Essex on Boxing Day.

Stollery, 48, and Parker-Magowan, 44, blamed each other for the murder, police said, but were found guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The pair, of no fixed address, were each jailed for a minimum of 23 years.

Parker-Magowan had moved in with Mr Gillett the week before Christmas having broken up with Stollery before the pair reconciled, Essex Police said.

They had gone to the flat to collect Parker-Magowan's belongings at about midnight on Christmas Day and stayed there for several hours, subjecting Mr Gillett to an assault which led to his death, the force added.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Essex Police said Paul Gillett had multiple injuries, including defensive wounds

Mr Gillett was later found dead in his bath tub.

The trial heard from a neighbour of Mr Gillett, Frank Reeves, who said he had allowed his neighbour to use his mobile phone to make several calls before Mr Reeves received a call from another man at 03:16 GMT on Boxing Day "who threatened to kill Paul and burn the place down".

A statement from another neighbour, Cheralyn Sylvester, was read to the jury, who described hearing a man and woman's voices near the fire escape of her flat block which was next to where Mr Gillett lived.

Image caption A police cordon was put in place at the scene in Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea

In a statement Mr Gillett's family said he "was murdered for his kindness to that female".

"This is how her and her partner says thank you - by committing this barbaric and cruel murder and then to set fire to his place without any due care for anybody else living in his building," they added.

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