Torture killers murdered man for ‘pathetic’ �439
THE BROTHER of a “thoroughly decent man” held hostage in his own home before being tortured and murdered has welcomed the life sentences given to the two depraved killers.
Brian Reeve spoke out after cocaine addicts Jon Williams, 22, and Danny Howsego, 36, were both sentenced to a minimum of 32 years for the killing of his brother Graham in his Colchester home in July last year.
The quiet 55-year-old, who worked and lived in the town, was bundled into his own flat, then bound, gagged, threatened and beaten as the pair, along with Howesgo’s girlfriend Trisha Levett, made repeated demands to get the pin number for his bank card.
A total of 11 attempts were made to get cash out but when the pin number did not work the cricket lover was finally stabbed in his stomach and then strangled to death after an horrific ordeal lasting more than five hours.
When their efforts to get cash out failed the trio instead ordered alcohol, cigarettes and pizzas to their flat totalling �439 from a supermarket in Colchester.
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At Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday Mr Justice Jeremy Cook sentenced the two men to life in prison and told them they would each serve 32 years before they would be eligible for parole.
He said: “The amount gained was pathetic – something for which you decided a thoroughly decent man should die.”
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The two men showed no reaction as they were sentenced for the killing in the early hours of July 5.
Levett - who has three children with Howsego - was sentenced to one-year for handling Mr Reeve’s stolen bank card and 18 months for the four attempts she made to withdraw cash. She was found not guilty of murder.
The 28-year-old, who was pregnant at the time of the incident, was led away from the dock in tears.
The court heard how Mr Reeve, who worked as an office administrator for distribution firm HG Hagesan, was strangled to death with some kind of ligature – possibly a curtain cord.
Prosecutors had told the jury that it had not been a quick-clean death but one which would have happened over a number of hours as the torture took place.
After he had been killed Mr Reeve’s body was dragged across a hallway to an empty flat opposite his own in Charles Pell Road where it was left covered by a duvet.
Concerned colleagues contacted the police when the conscientious worker failed to show up on the Monday morning for work.
Officers found dried blood inside Mr Reeve’s flat and the next day discovered his body.
Experts concluded Mr Reeve’s injuries to his wrists, arms and upper shoulders suggested he had been restrained.
Speaking afterwards Brian Reeve, accompanied by his wife Julie, said it had been a “traumatic” period for the family but said he was satisfied with the sentences which came at the end of a three-week trial.
He said: “Yes, I am very happy with the sentences.”
Mr Reeve declined to comment on what he thought about the two men who had killed his brother.
“We would like to thank Detective Superintendent Tracy Hawkings and her team for apprehending these people and bringing them to justice for the senseless killing of our brother Graham, a quiet man who kept himself to his self, and lived a life in a different world to those who surrounded him on the Greenstead estate.
“We feel that the sentences passed by His Lordship were just in the circumstances”, he said.
Afterwards Det Supt Tracy Hawkings confirmed neither of the men had ever shown remorse for their actions.