Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Thomas Groome murder: Man jailed over missing body murder

Jason Thaxter Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Thaxter was told he would serve at least 30 years in prison

A man has been jailed for the murder of a missing man whose body has never been found.

Thomas Groome, 53, was last seen by his family in Thorne in Doncaster on New Year's Day, 2010.

Jason Thaxter, of Hexthorpe, Doncaster, was convicted of murder and conspiracy to prevent a burial following a five-week trial.

He was jailed at Sheffield Crown Court and ordered to serve a minimum of 30 years in prison.

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Mr Groome's disappearance was initially treated as a missing person's inquiry but a murder investigation was launched in 2012.

Thaxter, 39, and his mother, June Buttle, were first arrested in 2013.

Buttle was charged the following year but there was insufficient evidence to charge her son at the time.

Image copyright South Yorkshire Police
Image caption Mr Groome was last seen alive on New Year's Day in 2010

The 57-year-old, of Doncaster, was jailed in 2015 for 16 years after pleading guilty to manslaughter, conspiracy to prevent a burial and fraud.

Temp Det Ch Supt Lisa Ray, of South Yorkshire Police, said she hoped the pair would do the "decent thing" by telling Mr Groome's family where his body was.

In a statement, his relatives described him as a "larger-than-life character", who loved to travel.

It added: "On the 1st January 2010 we said goodbye to him not knowing that this was the last time that we would see and speak to him.

"We are devastated that we have been unable to lay him to rest in a place where we can visit and remember him and give him the funeral that he deserves."

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