Man jailed for more than 18 years after killing neighbour and trying to stage suicide
PUBLISHED: 18:43 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:33 16 June 2019
A man told a series of lies to police after killing his "vulnerable" neighbour and then trying to make it look like suicide.
Steven Louro grabbed Jan Hogan, 59, in a headlock, after a drinking session in his flat, which was in the same block in Basil Drive, Downham Market, where Mr Hogan lived, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Richard Christie, QC, prosecuting, said Louro, 43, panicked when he thought he had killed Mr Hogan and got his friend Lester Aisthorpe, 59, to help move the body back to Mr Hogan's flat, where they staged a scene to make it look like suicide.
However Mr Christie said Mr Hogan was not dead but close to death when his body was moved and had an electrical cable put round his neck.
"He was dead or dying when he (Aisthorpe) helped him move the body."
He said Louro, described as having a history of volatile behaviour, was always a main suspect behind the killing of the father-of-five, which happened back in May 23, 2010, but Louro repeatedly lied in interviews with police even giving evidence at Mr Hogan's inquest, claiming he was suicidal.
Mr Christie said there was finally progress in the cold case after detectives from the Major Investigation Team (MIT) made a fresh appeal two years ago and witnesses were re-interviewed which led to the pair's arrest.
Several witnesses said Louro and Aisthorpe had made confessions to them about what happened, often after they had been drinking.
Louro, of South Lynn Plain, King's Lynn, admitted manslaughter and attempting to pervert the course of justice and was jailed for 18 years and seven months.
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Aisthorpe, of Basil Drive, Downham Market, was jailed three years seven months for attempting to pervert the course of justice, They had both originally been charged with murder, which they denied.
John Farmer for Louro, said they both had been drinking and said he had not meant to inflict really serious harm.
Andrew Oliver, for Aisthorpe, said he was a heavy drinker at the time and said: "He is not responsible for Mr Hogan's death."
He said that he had not put the flex around Mr Hogan's neck.
He said Aisthorpe was a different person now to the one he was.
Sentencing them Judge Stephen Holt said Mr Hogan's family continued to suffer over the "appalling" death of their father: "They have not known what happened to their beloved father until eventually you confessed."
Judge Holt commended the officers in the case for their work on the inquiry and praised Mr Hogan's family for their courage.
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Chapman, from Norfolk police, said: "These two acted together in a callous manner attempting to stage a scene of suicide and cover up what Louro had done to Jan Hogan."They did this for their own benefit to avoid prosecution and have denied Jan's family the truth of what happened for almost nine years.
"The death of Jan was re-investigated gathering further evidence allowing their re-arrests and charge. It uncovered the truth, and the nine years of their denial around Jan's death, which they believed they had got away with.
"This has been such a devastating time for the family of Jan, who have waited so long for the truth and who I praise for their continued appeals and support and I am thankful to those who helped the police with this investigation to ensure justice has been done."