Man jailed for 'savage' murder of Colchester coin collector will serve minimum of 30 years
PUBLISHED: 11:41 26 March 2019
A man who murdered Colchester coin collector Gordon McGhee and tried to cause a gas explosion at his flat to destroy evidence has been jailed for life.
Danny Bostock, 32, of Berberis Walk, Colchester, denied murdering Mr McGhee by stabbing him 14 times and cutting his throat but was found guilty by a jury last month.
He had also denied attempted arson with intent to endanger life in the early hours of August 22 last year by turning on a gas cooker and leaving a burning rag in a bid to destroy evidence but was convicted of this offence as well.
Sentencing Bostock to a mandatory life sentence at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday (March 26), Judge David Goodin ordered that Bostock should serve a minimum of 30 years before he can be considered for release by the parole board.
He said that Bostock had gone to Mr McGhee’s flat to steal his prized coin collection which hadn’t been seen since that night.
He described the attack as “savage” and said Mr McGhee must have known for a few moments before his death that his “end had come”.
He said Mr McGhee had sown the seeds of his own death by showing Bostock his coin collection and giving him some of his coins.
He said the seriousness of the case was aggravated by Bostock trying to blame a former friend for the murder and trying to destroy the crime scene by causing a gas explosion.
In a victim impact statement read to the court Toni Smith, whose mother Elaine had been in a relationship with Mr McGhee and was his carer at the time of his death, said that although he was not her biological father, Mr McGhee had treated her as his daughter and had planned to leave his treasured coin collection to her.
She said she was “paralysed with shock and heartbroken” when she heard that Mr McGhee had been killed and described him as a “kind-hearted, thoughtful gentle soul” and a “whole heap of fun and laughter.”
The court heard that 52-year-old Mr McGhee was a collector of rare and valuable coins, including special edition 50p pieces which bore images of Beatrix Potter characters.
The court heard Bostock had a criminal record dating back to 2003 and had been jailed for six years for rape in 2008.
Alison Levitt QC, for Bostock, said the murder was not premeditated and he had not gone to Mr McGhee’s flat armed with a knife.
She said Bostock had not known his birth parents and spent his childhood with foster parents and in the care of the local authority.
She said Bostock had told the court he resorted to violence because he didn’t cope well with rejection and his upbringing hadn’t give him the emotional tools to cope with life.
Paying tribute to Mr McGhee his family said: “Gordon was a kind-hearted, gentle soul. As a dad he was thoughtful, supportive, encouraging and a whole heap of fun and laughter.
“As a partner and friend he was loyal, generous, empathetic and witty. He found joy in a variety of things from his coins to playing chess and watching films.”
Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Truss, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “My thoughts are with Mr McGhee’s family and friends at this difficult time.
“Gordon McGhee, by all accounts, was a well-liked man and his death was a great shock to everyone.
“I don’t believe that Bostock shows any remorse at all for taking Mr McGhee’s life. His continued lies, including trying to pin the murder on an innocent man and his denial of owning the trainers that we knew were key to this investigation, show that.
“His attack on Mr McGhee was senseless and brutal. He is an incredibly dangerous man.”