Deborah Levey murder: Phillip Brown jailed for life

Phillip Brown and Deborah Levey Image copyright Sussex police
Image caption Brown was said to have shed "crocodile tears" over Ms Levey in court

A "controlling" man who murdered his ex-girlfriend after failing to win her back has been jailed for life.

Phillip Brown, 46, of Selsey, smothered Deborah Levey, 44, with a cushion at her West Sussex home last January.

He was ordered to serve a minimum term of 15 years after being found guilty of her murder last week, following a four-week trial at Lewes Crown Court.

Sentencing Brown, Judge Anthony Scott-Gall told him: "The jury saw through the web of deceit and lies."

"You have not shown a flicker of remorse, " he added.

"The tears that we have seen you shed were crocodile tears replete with self-pity."

'Jekyll and Hyde'

The court heard Ms Levey, a care scheme manager, was found dead at her home in East Ashling by a colleague who was due to travel with her to London for work.

A post-mortem examination was unable to find evidence that she died from natural causes but did rule out suggestions she may have self-harmed or overdosed.

Prosecutor Mark Dennis QC said there were "tell-tale" signs that the cause of her death was asphyxia.

During the trial, jurors were told that two months before she was found dead, Ms Levey ended her "passionate and highly charged" relationship with Mr Brown.

She also told friends he had a "Jekyll and Hyde" personality.

The prosecution said the "possessive and controlling" Brown had continued to pursue Ms Levey and killed her during an afternoon of drinking and talking at her home when he "found himself once again rebuffed".

After her death, Brown sent her bogus text messages expressing false concern about her whereabouts.

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