Couple jailed over body dumped in wheelie bin

Nathan Kearney Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Nathan Kearney was originally charged with murder, but a judge directed jurors to find him not guilty

A man who killed his girlfriend's uncle before dumping his body in a wheelie bin and setting it on fire has been jailed for life.

Nathan Kearney and his girlfriend Emma Tomlinson were charged with murdering William Tomlinson but a judge directed jurors to find them not guilty.

He later admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Both defendants admitted perverting the course of justice by destroying or concealing evidence.

Kearney, 34, of Gooding Avenue, Braunstone, was given a life sentence at Leicester Crown Court and told he must serve a minimum of six years and nine months.

Tomlinson, 24, of St Stephens Road, Leicester, was sentenced to three years after admitting being involved in cleaning the scene of the death and the disposal and hiding of the body.

A post-mortem examination revealed 64-year-old Mr Tomlinson, who lived in the same street as his niece, had been strangled and had a knife wound to his neck.

He was attacked at his flat at some time in February and was reported missing on 21 February by concerned neighbours.

Det Insp Simon Shuttleworth, who led the investigation said: "This was a brutal killing which was carried out by Kearney, with Tomlinson present throughout."

He said the pair set about cleaning the flat and disposing of the body. Kearney set fire to the bin in a bid to destroy evidence.

"To be killed in such a despicable manner is bad enough, but Bill's family have also had to hear how he was callously dumped in a wheelie bin, set alight and finally abandoned on waste ground for almost a week," he said.

Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption William Tomlinson, known as Bill, was strangled and had a knife wound to his neck
Image caption William Tomlinson was killed at his flat in St Stephen's Road, Leicester, in February

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