Love-cheat jailed over wife's murder

A DAUGHTER spoke of her joy and relief last night after the man who plotted the brutal murder of her mother was jailed for life.Marilyn Garside's daughter Lisa Elsworth was speaking after her stepfather was found guilty of killing her mother so he could get all the money from the sale of their Suffolk pub.

By David Green

A DAUGHTER spoke of her joy and relief last night after the man who plotted the brutal murder of her mother was jailed for life.

Marilyn Garside's daughter Lisa Elsworth was speaking after her stepfather was found guilty of killing her mother so he could get all the money from the sale of their Suffolk pub.

Love-cheat publican James Garside, 54, told another barmaid at the Cross Keys pub, in Redgrave, near Diss, he was going to kill his wife because he would only get half the £250,000 the pub was worth if he divorced her, the Old Bailey was told.

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Mrs Garside, 54, was stabbed at her mother's home in Essex by Richard Bates, a man hired by Garside a few months after the couple sold the pub.

Garside, 54, of Castle Acre Road, King's Lynn, and Bates, 50, a frozen foods nightshift worker, of Ullswater Road, King's Lynn, were both found guilty of murder and jailed for life.

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Last night, Mrs Garside's daughter Lisa Elsworth said justice had been done for her mother and insisted her jailed stepfather was "where he belongs".

She said: "We are so relieved that justice has been done for my mum and that those two are not able to hurt anyone else. She was such a wonderful mum and for her to be taken away like that was just awful.

"The last 18 months have been hell. Now she can finally rest in peace and we can grieve properly and get on with our lives. Because of the investigation we haven't been able to do that.

"I'm glad that man can't go to ruin anyone else's life. It is not going to bring my mother back but he's played the system for so long and it has finally caught up with him."

The 31-year-old added: "Jim Garside is where he belongs – where he can't put other families through the hurt and pain we have gone through. I don't have any feelings for him.

"He had no regard for anyone else's feelings. He did everything for himself. He treated my mum appallingly. She knew what he was like, but couldn't get away from him. If she didn't go along with whatever he said, he threatened to hurt her and her family.

"Mum wanted rid of him in the first few months after buying the pub and discovering what he was like. But she was stuck because everything she had worked all her life for was invested in the pub, which was in her name.

"She fell for his charm like all the other women. By the time she discovered that he was only after the money, it was too late.

"I don't have any feelings for him now. I'm glad he is in prison where he belongs."

Neither man showed emotion as the jury returned its verdicts yesterday after four hours deliberation.

Judge Richard Hawkins, QC, told them: "This was clearly a planned contract killing. You, Garside, were clearly the originator and arrange for Bates to murder your wife.

"You, Bates, took your full part murdering her brutally and without mercy. Her life was brought to an end in a moment and she was parted from her family. You acted for monetary gain."

Mrs Garside was visiting her mother in Rose Lane, Romford, on October 2, 2001, when she was attacked after answering the door.

"She was stabbed repeatedly in the chest and neck," said Anthony Glass, QC, prosecuting.

It was a simple blunder made by the killer which provided key evidence in the case.

Posing as a workman, Bates knifed the mum-of-two on the doorstep of her mother's home before calmly strolling down the garden path.

He even took the time to shut the garden gate – but the arrogant gesture left telltale traces of his DNA on the gatepost.

Det Insp Carl Mehta, of the Metropolitan Police, said Jim Garside became the chief suspect for his wife's murder as Mrs Garside's past was investigated.

"It became very clear Jim and Lyn Garside had a very tumultuous relationship," he said.

"There was evidence of domestic violence against her and a number of witnesses who came forward said Jim Garside had made threats to kill Marilyn because – to coin his phrase – she was worth more to him dead than alive.

"The only enemy Marilyn Garside had was Jim Garside – we didn't discover anyone else who had a bad word to say about her."

Mr Mehta said Garside had an alibi on the night of his wife's murder but his involvement was found out through use of mobile phones. Bates was found to be an associate of Garside's and his DNA had matched that found at the murder scene.

"It was obvious this was a well-planned and premeditated murder. Jim Garside was in Norfolk orchestrating it by telephone."

Last night, Miss Elsworth, from Romford, described her mother as "her best friend" who she missed every single day.

"We would go shopping together and take the dogs out together – we were best friends. It has left a massive gap in our lives.

"She was such an important part of our family and we miss her so much. She was such a wonderful mother and daughter."

She added: "My mother always saw the good in people and gave them the benefit of the doubt – they turned to her because they knew she would help.

"She did a lot of work for charity while she was at the pub in Suffolk. It is tragic that someone so lovely and warm and caring can be taken away in this dreadful way."

Miss Elsworth paid tribute to the bravery of her grandmother, Barbara Rawle, 77, who was with her daughter when she died.

"She needed to see justice done and is immensely relieved. She saw her daughter die in her arms but she has been so brave and strong and given evidence in court. For what she has experienced, she has been amazing."

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