Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Man jailed for murdering landlady

Tyrone Bates
Bates had admitted strangling Mrs Gleadall, but denied murder

A barman from Cornwall who claimed he awoke to find his landlady having sex with him has been given a life sentence for her murder.

Tyrone Bates, 33, admitted strangling Stella Gleadall, 50, at her home in St Ives, west Cornwall, but denied murder.

He said he had been angry after waking to find her on top of him having sex without his knowledge in November 2007.

The Truro Crown Court jury reached a majority guilty verdict. Mrs Gleadall's family said "justice had been served".

Tariff decision

A pathologist told the court that Mrs Gleadall, a mother-of-three who had been separated from her husband of 25 years, had 32 bruises and abrasions all over her body and she had been suffocated.

The court heard both Bates and Mrs Gleadall had been out drinking, but not together, before the murder.

Bates said he had been playing guitar in the kitchen of Mrs Gleadall's house, where he lodged, when she had come in and said she wanted sex.

Stella Gleadall
Stella Gleadall had 32 bruises and abrasions all over her body

Bates, who said he had never had sex with Mrs Gleadall before, went to sleep on the living room sofa.

He next remembered being on his bed.

The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for 12-and-a-half hours over a three-day period.

Judge Graham Cottle imposed a mandatory life sentence on Bates.

The case was adjourned until Wednesday when the judge will decide at Exeter Crown Court on the minimum term Bates must serve before being eligible for parole.

After Bates' conviction, the Gleadall family said in a statement: "We are satisfied that justice has been served.

"We feel this result will go a long way in helping our family to move forward with our lives knowing that he will now have to suffer the consequences of his unforgivable actions."

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