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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 October 2005, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Jealous man gets life for murder
Brian Lawrence
Brian Lawrence, 63, will have to serve at least 21 years
A jealous grandfather has been jailed for life for murdering a friend of his ex-mistress and hiring a hitman to kill two other men.

Retired teacher Brian Lawrence, 63, of Hermitage, Berkshire, was told he must serve at least 21 years.

"Insanely jealous" of men close to his married lover Christine Watson, he bludgeoned Deryk Cox, 69, to death in his home in Caversham, Reading.

He also set out to have Mrs Watson's husband and another friend killed.

Deryk Cox
Deryk Cox was bludgeoned to death and his home set alight

Lawrence's trial at Reading Crown Court heard how he had a series of meetings with a man known only as "Trevor", in which he agreed to pay 3,000 to have Brian Watson killed.

But unknown to Lawrence, "Trevor" was an undercover policeman who taped their conversations as part of a sting operation.

In lengthy tape recordings played to the jury, Lawrence was heard calmly discussing the elimination of his intended victims, Mr Watson and Frank Jose.

Police, who interviewed 600 people over Mr Cox's murder, finally connected the investigation with that into Brian Lawrence's plans when Christine Watson realised the possible link.

The jury unanimously found him guilty of Mr Cox's killing and soliciting the murder of Mr Watson and Mr Jose.

On Wednesday, Judge Jonathan Playford, QC, told Lawrence that he must serve at least 21 years, making him 84 years old, before he could be considered for parole.

He was also sentenced to 19 years for soliciting Mr Watson's murder and eight years for that of Mr Jose with both terms to run concurrently to the life sentence.

Jealous ex killed lover's friend
11 Oct 05 |  Berkshire
Jealous ex 'hired hitman to kill'
15 Sep 05 |  Berkshire

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