Life for gentle teacher's killer

A MAN has been jailed for life after a "gentle" teacher from Essex died when he was hit over the head with a bicycle chain lock.Benjamin Wilson, 28, admitted the murder of Timothy Rendell, who was head of science at Hedingham School, Sible Hedingham.

A MAN has been jailed for life after a "gentle" teacher from Essex died when he was hit over the head with a bicycle chain lock.

Benjamin Wilson, 28, admitted the murder of Timothy Rendell, who was head of science at Hedingham School, Sible Hedingham.

Karim Khalil QC, prosecuting, told Norwich Crown Court yesterday that Wilson remained a danger to society and was even described as a "psychopath" by the friend he was with on the night he attacked Mr Rendell.

The teacher was left brain damaged after he was attacked when he cycled home from a night out with friends in Cambridge in May 1999.

Wilson, born in Greenock but living in Cambridge, was convicted at a trial at Cambridge Crown Court of grievous bodily harm and jailed for 12 years in January 2000.

But when Mr Rendell died in a care home in Ely last autumn aged 50, the charge was changed to murder.

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Wilson originally denied the charge but altered his plea at a hearing in April.

Describing the victim, Mr Khalil said: "A tall, large man, a much liked and well-known figure in Cambridge, a local teacher. Described by those who knew him as a gentle man."

He said that Wilson was seen by witnesses to swing a heavy duty bike chain at the side of Mr Rendell's head "at or approaching full force".

Mr Rendell, a single man, died of bronchial pneumonia but it was the head injury that ultimately caused his death, the court heard.

Mr Khalil said Wilson suffered from a personality disorder and took illegal drugs.

"He is likely to remain a danger for a significant period of time," he said.

Wilson had previous convictions for burglary, theft, possession of offensive weapons and threatening behaviour.

Michael Duffy, defending, said: "Certainly his attitude at the trial was to deny or blame others and now after carefully considering a number of expert reports and evidence given to him he takes the decision on his own to plead guilty.

"And that perhaps more than anything is indicative of a change that has occurred and the good prison has done this man."

He added: "This clearly was a spontaneous act. There being no premeditation. The defendant, in drink or otherwise, plainly lost his temper. There is clear evidence of remorse."

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