Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Retired police officer Stanley Carter's killer jailed

Stephen Cowdrey
Image caption Stephen Cowdrey killed Stanley Carter to "solve" his financial problems

A man who murdered an 87-year-old retired police officer found dead at his home in Portsmouth, has been jailed for life.

Stephen Cowdrey, 49, of St Augustines Road, Southsea admitted killing pensioner Stanley Carter on 13 September.

Mr Carter was found strangled in Greenwood Avenue, Wymering.

Cowdrey was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 20 years' imprisonment, at Winchester Crown Court.

Lindsay Pennell, senior crown prosecutor, said the defendant was described by his friends as someone having permanent financial difficulties and who was drinking away his money.

'Rugby-type tackle'

"This is a tragic case where a vulnerable elderly person was violently killed in his own home, solely as a result of the defendant's desire to solve his own financial problems," she said.

"Stephen Cowdrey visited Mr Carter's house and gained entry by pretending he was there to examine leaking pipes, with the intention of stealing money from him.

Image caption Stanley Carter, 89, was found dead in his home in Portsmouth

"[He] was later to tell police that he charged at his victim and knocked him to the ground in a rugby-type tackle when Mr Carter became suspicious about his reasons for being at the address."

Cowdrey then strangled Mr Carter before stealing his bank card, the court heard.

He handed himself in to Portsmouth central police station on 15 September, admitting to officers he had killed Mr Carter.

In a statement released after the sentence, Mr Carter's family said they were "satisfied" with the justice served by the court.

"[We] would like to thank Hampshire Constabulary's Operation Lock team for the sympathetic manner in which they have conducted the investigation," the statement continued.

"[We] now wish to move on with [our] lives."

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