Thug admits teacher's murder

A MAN has admitted murdering an Essex schoolteacher who died two years after he was brutally hit over the head with a bike lock.Tim Rendell, 47, who was head of science at Hedingham School near Halstead, was left with severe brain damage after he was attacked as cycled home from a night out with friends in May 1999.

A MAN has admitted murdering an Essex schoolteacher who died two years after he was brutally hit over the head with a bike lock.

Tim Rendell, 47, who was head of science at Hedingham School near Halstead, was left with severe brain damage after he was attacked as cycled home from a night out with friends in May 1999.

His attacker, Benjamin Wilson, 28, was convicted of grievous bodily harm and sentenced to 12 years in jail in January 2000.

But Mr Rendell died at a care home in Ely, Cambridgeshire, in October 2001 and the charge was changed to murder.


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Earlier this year, Wilson originally denied murder, but altered his plea at a hearing at Norwich Crown Court on Monday.

Described by friends as "a gentle giant", Mr Rendell was cycling home after an evening out with friends in his home town of Cambridge when a drunk and abusive Wilson, who 15 minutes earlier had attacked and wounded another man, chased after him and hit him over the head with a bicycle lock, knocking him to the floor.

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During his original trial the judge described Wilson's actions that night as "violent thuggish behaviour" against "wholly innocent strangers".

Mr Rendell, a single man, was taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, with near-fatal head injuries and was never able to lead a normal life again.

Left with severe brain damage, the former rugby player could not talk, move or eat normally and had to be fed via a stomach tube.

He spent around nine months at a rehabilitation centre in London in a bid to help him communicate, but he failed to respond to treatment and was transferred to the Sue Ryder care home in Ely.

With no family in the area his sister regularly flew from her home in Dubai to visit him, but almost two years later, he died.

At the time of his death, Susan Anderson, headteacher of the 900-plus rural based comprehensive Hedingham School, said his death was a "blessed relief" after all the suffering he must have endured after the attack.

She said: "As far as we are concerned, his life was taken away when he was attacked.

"He was a very gentle man who had taught at the school for 11 years. He had a sweet nature and was in charge of an improving department. Everything was going well for him.

"He was a very big presence wherever he was, not just because of his size, but also his personality." "He had a very eccentric taste in ties," she added.

A pre-sentence report is to be prepared and Wilson will be re-sentenced on May 12.

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