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Tuesday, 11 December, 2001, 12:34 GMT
Life for man who murdered friend
The body was found in a culvert near Clearbrook
The body was found in a culvert near Clearbrook
A Devon man convicted of murdering a pensioner and then dismembering his body before burning it, has been jailed for life.

Steven Williams, 41, from Plymouth, was convicted on "compelling evidence" the judge at Exeter crown court told him.

Williams had denied murdering 65-year-old Ivor Dryer whose remains were discovered in a ditch near Clearbrook on Dartmoor on 18 June.

Mr Dryer had been decapitated and his legs and arms removed before the remains were set on fire.

Police on Dartmoor
Police made detailed searches of the area

Judge William Taylor said Williams had acted in a cold and calculating manner showing the body of his friend "no respect whatever".

The court was told the pair may have argued over a 1,000 debt - but the true reason for Williams' actions may never be known.

He had claimed at his trial at Plymouth crown court his friend "went berserk" after accusing him of sleeping with his ex-wife.

Williams said he stabbed him in self-defence.

He visited Mr Dryer's home and rumpled the sheets to make it look as if he had slept there.

The court heard that Williams then bought an axe and a saw before dismembering the body, dumping it on Dartmoor and setting it alight.

At the trial, Detective Chief Inspector Jim Foley said: "The dismembering of Mr Dryer's body and the attempted destruction of his remains has added to the grief of his family.

"In my opinion, it is an indication of the calculating evil of Steven Williams."

Click here to go to Devon
See also:

10 Dec 01 | England
Man convicted of burnt body death
03 Dec 01 | England
Man denies Dartmoor death
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