Violent burglar who killed elderly brother and sister jailed for 32 years

Violent burglar who killed elderly brother and sister jailed for 32 years

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profession prison who killed an elderly brother and sister in a bungled housebreaking has been jailed for life with a minimal time period of 32 years.

(*32*) Neil, 65, “dodged justice for nearly 30 years” after attacking Second World War veteran William Bryan, 71, and widow Anne Castle, 74, throughout a break-in at their east London house in August 1993.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey, Neil was discovered responsible of Mr Bryan’s homicide and of Mrs Castle’s manslaughter.

Sentencing him on Friday, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said: “You dodged justice for nearly 30 years, now justice has caught up with you.”

She later said: “This was a notorious and universally appalling crime, both because of your history and the doubly fatal consequences of what you did.”

The pensioners have been overwhelmed and restrained as their flat was ransacked within the search for valuables.

The choose told Neil his actions have been “unscrupulous” and “lacking in mercy”, and the siblings died “as a result of your greed”.

She added: “You were a well-established and experienced career burglar by 1993.

“But you had it in you to offend in a way which was far more serious.”

Neil pulled two marriage ceremony rings and two diamond rings from Mrs Castle’s fingers, however failed to discover some £4,000 in money – a few of which had been stashed in socks, the Old Bailey was told.

Mrs Castle suffered a coronary heart assault and Mr Bryan went into cardiac arrest after being overwhelmed and smothered through the night-time raid.

No-one witnessed the assault, however screams have been heard by neighbours, suggesting a “prolonged burglary and attack”, jurors heard.

Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb told the court docket: “The suffering of one of them was compounded by knowing that the other had died or was dying, that is inescapable.

“They were left virtually opposite each other, it is not difficult to imagine, though no-one would want to, the anguish they must have endured at the suffering of the other.”

Police have been known as to the handle on August 23 1993 and discovered Mrs Castle’s body slumped in an armchair, together with her brother mendacity on the ground.

Jurors have been proven pictures of the scene, with cushions up-ended on the couch, damaged glass from a vase, a lampshade askew within the corner, a pair of glasses on the ground, and Mrs Castle’s purse on the bottom with the contents spilling out.

A hammer and a screwdriver have been recovered from the crime scene.

The murders went unsolved for almost 30 years till Neil’s DNA was discovered on the knot of a strap used to tie Mr Bryan’s palms.

The court docket heard Neil had a string of convictions for some 15 burglaries between 1973 and 1998.

In 1984, he carried out two house invasions in three months during which the occupants have been bodily assaulted.

A pair have been overwhelmed with an iron bar and the spouse additionally smothered with a pillow as their three children slept of their house in Penge, south London.

The husband’s palms have been tied up with a belt and Neil tried to pull the spouse’s ring from her finger.

Although no children have been harmed, Neil told the couple: “Your kid’s dead, right we’ve killed your little girl, got it. Tell us where the money is or we’ll smash your heads in.”

Two months later, Neil assaulted one other girl after breaking into her house in Norbury, south London, before making off with a music centre and £15 in money.

He was jailed for the 2 violent burglaries and released on licence in August 1992 – a year before the double murders.

During his trial, Neil had accepted his DNA was discovered at the scene of the killings, however denied he had been there or knew the victims.

He claimed an harmless rationalization for the forensic hyperlink was that he had bought Mr Bryan binoculars at a car boot sale and it was the strap which was used to bind him.

But Mrs Castle’s grandson remembered his nice uncle was eager on devices and had two units of binoculars which he would have purchased new.

Jurors heard that the victims had lived collectively in a flat in Bethnal Green since Mr Bryan was invalided out of the Army in 1945, with Mrs Castle being widowed in 1987.

A statement from Mrs Castle’s granddaughter, read out to the court docket, described her as a “pillar of the community who was well loved and respected by everybody”.

It went on to say the pair “showed all the things which are good in people”.

Another family statement said “for almost 30 years a weight has been over our shoulders”.

Cheers and applause have been heard within the public gallery because the sentence was given.

Source:standard.co.uk

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