Trio convicted of torture murder
Published: 22nd Jan 2010 13:10:53
A woman, her brother and ex-lover have been convicted of torturing to death her partner at the County Durham house they all shared.
Teesside Crown Court heard how Andrew Gardner, 35, was burnt and beaten over a period of weeks before his death at the house in Chilton in March 2008.
His partner Clare Nicholls, 28, her brother Simon, 24, and her ex-partner Steven Martin, 44, had denied murder.
A jury heard how helpless Mr Gardner suffered weeks of agonising violence.
Earlier Clare Nicholls' guilty plea to manslaughter was rejected by the Crown.
Mr Gardner was father to the youngest of his partner's four children.
He had 21 rib fractures, burns to his feet, neck and back, whip-like marks on his body, severe bruising and brain bleeding.
Crude abuse was daubed on his body in nail varnish when he cried.
Jurors wept when they heard that youngsters were encouraged to join in the attacks at the house they shared in Arthur Street, Chilton.
Marks caused by a sharp object were found on his body, described by Home Office pathologist Dr Nigel Cooper as "a grotesque game of noughts and crosses".
Boiling water was poured over his feet in the bath, he was held against a hot radiator and scorched with a cigarette lighter.
Mr Gardner, who weighed 8st 14lb (57kg) was banned from eating and was forced to steal food from cupboards, and received more punishment when he got caught.
Paramedics were called to the house on 13 March last year but, Mr Gardner had been dead for some time.
Medical evidence showed he was incapacitated by a second, painful set of rib injuries, probably caused by jumps or stamps, and that he took "some time to die".
At 11:00:47 in EnglandMore than 100 Jersey residents have signed a petition against plans to demolish a disused church in Gorey Village and build homes on the site.
At 10:45:28 in EnglandPolice investigating the death of a man on Merseyside believe he may have been "in an altercation" before he died.
At 10:40:35 in EnglandA city centre disturbance that left two teenagers in hospital may have involved shots being fired, police said.
At 10:39:42 in ScotlandA driver who was involved in a crash on the Friarton Bridge in Perth on Saturday night was traced three hours later with a serious head injury.
At 10:36:32 in WalesElectronic cigarettes could be banned from use in council-owned buildings and vehicles in the Caerphilly county borough.
At 10:31:09 in EnglandMinisters are being urged to end restrictions that prevent many garden centres in England and Wales from opening on Easter Sunday.
At 10:29:58 in SportSwansea City head coach Garry Monk says striker Wilfried Bony "can only get better" after his match-winning efforts at Newcastle United.
At 10:28:12 in SportArsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told England boss Roy Hodgson that Jack Wilshere will be fit for the World Cup, which starts on 12 June.
At 10:24:22 in EnglandA man was stabbed in the street in Weymouth, police said.
At 10:21:15 in SportHearts manager Gary Locke admits it's "a blow" losing Jamie Hamill for next week's Edinburgh derby following the stand-in captain's red card against Ross County.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Trio convicted of torture murder [Online] (Updated 22nd Jan 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/12667/Trio-convicted-of-torture-murder [Accessed 20th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
French journalists released from captivity in Syria have been speaking about their ordeal at the hands of suspected Islamist rebels.
Stick a bunch of people in a room with pizza, caffeine and a whole load of kit, wait 24 hours and something interesting emerges.
Swansea City head coach Garry Monk says striker Wilfried Bony "can only get better" after his match-winning efforts at Newcastle United.
Government agencies Scottish Enterprise and Visit Scotland have quit business lobby organisation CBI after it formally backed the campaign against Scottish independence.
Electronic cigarettes could be banned from use in council-owned buildings and vehicles in the Caerphilly county borough.
Samuel L Jackson, Bruce Dern and Michael Madsen have joined Quentin Tarantino in Los Angeles for a reading of his leaked script, Hateful Eight.