#AceNewsReport – Jan.03: A village ‘oddball’ who murdered his neighbour when she spurned his advances has been jailed for life: Brian Coote, 65, became infatuated with his next-door neighbour Christine Ford, 71, and attempted to buy her gifts and kiss her at a village fete.
But when she turned him down, Coote stabbed and bludgeoned the grandmother-of-four to death with a hammer at his home in Flamstead, Hertfordshire: Coote was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder – with a minimum term of 15 years before he can be considered for parole.
Judge Andrew Bright QC told Coote: ‘Christine Ford was a kind, caring and thoroughly decent woman who had done you no harm at all.’…………Judge Bright went on: ‘It is clear from the evidence that your feelings for her were somewhat mixed……………’You plainly resented and often complained about the fact that she sometimes had her grandchildren to visit her and to play outside, but at other times you showed signs of your affection for her by purchasing her a silver bracelet and asking her at a village fete whether she would allow you to kiss her……………………’Only you can explain what led you to subject a woman who had only ever treated you with kindness to such sustained and terrifying brutality.’…………………’For reasons of your own you have chosen not to do so. For my part I reject the assertion you make through your counsel that you have no explanation to offer.’
Ms Ford, a former hairdresser, was found dead at Cootes’ almshouse on July 27 last year: Coote fled the scene and spent two days hiding in his car and at his allotment until he was found and arrested by police. He pleaded guilty to murder today.
Prosecutor Mary Prior told Luton Crown Court that Coote, a gardener and car mechanic, had lived in Flamstead all his life with his parents, until their deaths.
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