Family pay tribute to ‘wonderful’ murder victim

ipswich: Tributes have been paid to murdered hair-stylist Simon Amers by relatives who described him as a “wonderful, magical and happy person who did not deserve to die” on the day that his killer was told he will serve at least 18 years of a life sentence.

Thirty-six-year-old Mr Amers’ naked body was found face down in a pool of blood in his flat in Widgeon Close, Ipswich, several days after he was stabbed to death in July by 47-year-old Rodney Greenland.

Greenland, of Manchester Road, Ipswich, was convicted of murdering Mr Amers on Monday by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court after a week-long trial and sentence was adjourned until yesterday when Judge John Devaux described the attack as “ferocious and persistent”.

He told Greenland, who claimed that he had stabbed a bare-chested Mr Amers in the kitchen after he made unwanted sexual advances to him, that he had given the court an “incomplete account” of what had happened on the night of Mr Amers’ death. He said in particular there had been no explanation as to why Mr Amers was naked when he was found and how he came to be bleeding heavily on his bed during the attack.

He accepted for sentencing purposes that Greenland had been sexually abused as a child and that “there may or may not have been” conduct by Mr Amers which amounted to provocation but fell short of a defence of provocation.

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After the hearing Mr Amers’ sister Janine Sultan described him as a “wonderful, magical and happy person who didn’t deserve to die”.

She felt that justice had been done by the jury’s guilty verdict on the murder charge. “I just feel relieved that he [Greenland] can’t do this to any other family.”

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She said members of Mr Amers’ family, including his 21-year-old daughter Becky, had been left “absolutely shattered” by his death.

Mr Amers’ aunt, Begum Wincup, paid tribute to the support the family had received from the police and Simon’s many friends.

“Simon loved life and he touched so many people. That’s why I can’t take it in and that’s why it’s been so hard for us all,” she said.

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