Concrete tomb murderer Sebastian Bendou sentenced

Sebastian Bendou Image copyright Cheshire Police
Image caption Sebastian Bendou confessed his crime to police

A man convicted of murdering his friend by bludgeoning him to death with a hammer and burying him in a concrete tomb has been jailed for life.

Sebastian Bendou, 36, was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years at Preston Crown Court after Christophe Borgye, 35, was killed in Ellesmere Port in May 2009.

Bendou led police to the "grisly tomb" in 2013, and then admitted to his killing by diminished responsibility.

Money was likely to be the motive, prosecutors said.

'Strange influence'

Bendou's friend Dominik Kocher, 35, was also convicted of murder. He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 23 years at an earlier hearing, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Image copyright Cheshire Police
Image caption Mr Borgye's body was wrapped in tarpaulin and encased in thick concrete

The pair killed the flight attendant and put him in the outbuilding of the house all three shared with Manuel Wagner in Hylton Court, Ellesmere Port.

The CPS said they wrapped the body in a tarpaulin, built a low wall of bricks around it and encased it in thick concrete.

Prosecutors said during the house share, Kocher began to "exert a strange influence over the men and appeared to control their finances".

Richard Riley, senior crown prosecutor, said: "Borgye and Bendou had their wages paid into Kocher's account and, in return, he seems to have managed their affairs.

"We may never know the reason why Bendou and Kocher killed Mr Borgye on that fateful day - the picture is too murky. But it seems likely that money was at the heart of it."

After the killing, Bendou, Kocher and Mr Wagner, who were all French, left the area and settled in Scotland.

Image copyright Cheshire Police
Image caption Christophe Borgye had lived in the UK since 2007

But in May last year, Bendou contacted Cheshire Police and led officers to Mr Borgye's body.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Borgye, who was originally from Ronchen in France and moved to the UK in 2007, died from a series of hammer blows to his head.

Bendou was sectioned under the Mental Health Act after his confession but he was later classed as fit to stand trial for murder.

Mr Wagner, 26, was found not guilty of assisting an offender and preventing a lawful burial.

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