Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Friday, 23 May 2008 18:04 UK

Pub manager murdered fiancee boss

David Kirsch
David Kirsch hit Julie Butler with a bar stool and left her to die

A pub manager has been jailed for 19 years for murdering his landlady fiancee and storing her body for three days while he drank at other pubs.

David Kirsch was found guilty at Winchester Crown Court of the murder of Julie Butler, 49, in October last year.

The jury of nine women and three men had been shown CCTV footage of Kirsch strangling Ms Butler at the Imperial Standard pub in Aldershot, Hampshire.

Kirsch, 42, was found not guilty of two counts of sexual acts with a corpse.

Janice Brennan, prosecuting, told the trial that Kirsch, who had drunk six Jack Daniels and four pints of lager, could be seen putting his hand around his partner's throat in the footage causing her to pass out.

He then hit her with a bar stool and left her to die over a period of 21 minutes in the early hours of 8 October last year.

Craft knife

The next morning he pulled her body into the men's toilets at the pub where he dressed her in fresh clothes, kissed her and covered her face with beer towels.

Kirsch lived in the pub for nearly three days afterwards leaving only to drink at other pubs and to place bets.

Ms Butler's body was found on 10 October by the area manager of the brewery and a colleague who entered the pub through an open window.

The Imperial Standard pub
The murder took place at Aldershot's Imperial Standard pub

The court heard that before discovering the body, the two men found notes left by Kirsch in which he confessed to the killing but said he had not intended it.

One note read: "I do not know what I have done but I do not deserve to live.

"I am appalled at what happened, I do not know how it happened. I let everyone down."

After police sealed off the scene, Kirsch arrived holding a craft knife to his own throat and had to be tackled by officers.

Kirsch told police that Ms Butler had attacked him in a drunken rage because he flirted with a customer and he had acted in self-defence.

Pub attack shown at murder trial
06 May 08 |  Hampshire
Murder charge over pub body find
12 Oct 07 |  Hampshire

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