Snettisham pub landlord was "over protective" of girlfriend who he murdered
PUBLISHED: 05:59 24 May 2011
Archant © 2009
On the outside, it appeared that Michael Tucker and Becky Thorpe were in a loving and affectionate relationship and enjoying life running the Compasses Inn in Snettisham as a couple.
But behind closed doors, both tried to control what the other did in a constant struggle for dominance, which resulted in Tucker murdering Miss Thorpe.
The pair started their relationship with Tucker running the Dray and Horses pub with his wife, Susan, and Miss Thorpe being their chef.
The couple’s affair turned into a relationship soon after Tucker’s wife, Susan, left Norfolk with their two children at the end of 2008 to go live in Ireland.
The couple then set their eyes on the Compasses Inn and after revamping the public house, they opened for business over Easter 2009.
Accountant Stephanie Hall, Becky Thorpe’s best friend, told the murder trial last week how Tucker tried to kill himself twice and also disappeared for three weeks after the pub opened.
Miss Hall also told jurors that around September 2009 Miss Thorpe had wanted to end the relationship after Tucker tried to hang himself.
However, Miss Thorpe returned to Tucker and the Compasses Inn soon after he returned from hospital. The 28-year-old was killed by Tucker in March 2010 after she told Tucker she was having an affair and that he couldn’t see his children.
Miss Hall also told the court how she had to ask Tucker’s permission to take Miss Thorpe out for the evening.
She continued: “It was the week leading up to her birthday (October 2009) and a local band were playing in my local pub so I asked Becky if she wanted to come.
“Becky told me to ask Mike so I did and he let her come out. We were having a good night but then Mike kept texting and calling her. Becky then left and went home.
“From what Becky told me he was always checking up on her and finding out what she was doing and who she was with.”
Speaking of the pair’s relationship, Miss Thorpe’s father, Peter, added: “He was always affectionate and devoted to Rebecca. In my opinion he was more devoted to her than she was to him.”
Ellie-May Carpenter, waitress at Queen Victoria pub, was a regular customer at the Compasses Inn.
In a statement read out in court last week, she said: “He seemed very protective of her and he seemed besotted by Becky. If she was talking to another male, he would go and stand next to her or try to get her attention.”
Brian Coombes, Snettisham resident and regular customer at the Compasses, gave evidence at court.
He told jurors: “They seemed very affectionate towards each other. Sometimes he would fondle her in public which upset a few people.”