[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 15:48 GMT
Man guilty of prostitute's murder
Philip Stanley
Philip Stanley met Haley Curtis as he searched for his partner
A 56-year-old traveller who beat to death a 23-year-old woman has been found guilty of murder.

The body of prostitute Hayley Curtis, of Thetford, Norfolk, was found in a shallow grave in Hants three months after she disappeared in October 2001.

A court heard Stanley was living in Essex when he met Ms Curtis as he searched for his partner, whom he had also violently attacked.

Stanley denied Miss Curtis' murder and wounding and assaulting his partner.

Norwich Crown Court heard tests showed Miss Curtis suffered serious damage to her spine and ribs - injuries consistent with being jumped on while lying down - but experts "could not be certain" of the cause of death.

Broken legs

Stanley, father of at least 13 children, admitted having been with Ms Curtis when she died but claimed she died of natural causes as they prepared to have sexual intercourse on a blanket in a field.

He had not raised the alarm when she died and buried her because he was afraid he would be blamed for her death.

Hayley Curtis
Hayley Curtis's body was found three months after she disappeared
Ms Curtis's body was found in January 2002 off the A3 near Petersfield.

Stanley, who is believed to come from Essex and was living at a travellers' site in Harlow when Miss Curtis disappeared, fled to Dublin two days after her body was found and was extradited from there in January 2002 to face trial.

Jurors heard Stanley's partner Fiance Richards had fled with her three children from Stanley in October 2001 after years of violence and torment, fearing he would kill her. In one attack he had broken her arm and both legs.

Sentencing will be carried out on Friday.

Sex worker was battered to death
27 Oct 05 |  Hampshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific