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Snettisham murderer can "rot in hell", his family say

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 May 2011 | UPDATED: 16:45 24 May 2011

Michael Tucker, who has been found guilty of the  murder of Becky Thorpe. Picture: Ian Burt.

Michael Tucker, who has been found guilty of the murder of Becky Thorpe. Picture: Ian Burt.

Archant © 2010

The niece of murderer Michael Tucker says his family have disowned him and that his mother hopes he "rots in hell" for killing his girlfriend and dumping her body in the freezer.

It took a jury of eight women and four men less than an hour to find the pub landlord, 50, guilty of murdering Becky Thorpe yesterday afternoon following a six-day trial.

Tucker shot Miss Thorpe, 28, at the Compasses Inn in Snettisham as she sat in the bath after she told him she was having an affair and that he couldn’t see his children from a previous relationship.

After leaving her body in the bath for two days, Tucker wrapped it in a duvet and dumped it in the freezer before carrying on “like normal”.

The former Downham Market resident’s frozen body was found by a police officer on Tuesday, March 23, last year and Tucker was later arrested at a hotel on the Isle of Wight.

The 50-year-old had denied murdering his girlfriend but today he will be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court for the crime – much to the delight of both Miss Thorpe’s family and his own.

Tucker’s niece Kelly Stevens said: “We are all delighted with the verdict. It has not come as a shock to us at all because we were just praying he wouldn’t get away with murdering Becky.

“We were all horrified by what we read about her being shot in the bath and then kept there for two days. All the family have been reading what went on during the trial and we have all disowned him.

“We feel terrible for what he did to Becky and her family but hopefully now this will give both families the chance to move on, knowing that he is locked up and can’t do anything like that again.”

She added: “As far as his mum is concerned she doesn’t want anything more to do with him. She wants him to rot in hell.”

Summing up the case for the jury yesterday morning, Mr Justice Nicol said there was no dispute Tucker killed Miss Thorpe and that it had never been suggested he shot her in self defence.

He explained the jury had to ask themselves if Tucker had intended to kill Miss Thorpe or did he have a sudden, temporary loss of control because of words Miss Thorpe may have said to him.

He also urged the jury to ask themselves if a reasonable person of a similar age would have acted in the same way.

It was only after answering these questions, the judge said, that the jury could find Tucker guilty or not guilty of murder or of manslaughter.

As Mr Justice Nicol gave his summary of the case, Tucker, who wore a blue short, black jumper and blue jeans, repeatedly looked towards Miss Thorpe’s family in the public gallery.

There were then cheers from Miss Thorpe’s family and friends as the guilty verdict was read out.

In a statement issued via police family liaison officers, Miss Thorpe’s family added: “Becky was a bubbly, sporty young woman whose life was callously and clinically taken from us.

“No amount of punishment will bring our daughter and sister back, but the memories and comfort we receive from the local people, clubs and charities that Becky had become involved with have helped, and will continue to help, bring us to terms with our loss.

“Though now at rest, Becky’s name and memory will continue with charitable events organised in her name.

“We would like to thank the legal teams and jurors for ensuring that Mr Tucker received the sentence that he deserved, despite his feeble attempts to escape the full responsibility for his actions.”

Yesterday afternoon Det Chief Insp Jes Fry, who led the investigation into the murder, said: “We welcome the guilty verdict for murder and feel that the facts of the case show clearly that Tucker knew what he was doing and carried out a deliberate act.

“This was obviously a tragic loss for Rebecca’s family and our thoughts are with them at this time. It is important to remember that this event was also a real shock to the local community who are not used to such horrific incidents.”

david.blackmore@archant.co.uk

For the sentencing, see the EDP website today, www.edp24.co.uk.

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