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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 20:34 GMT
Life for man who killed housemate
Andrew Green, Lisa Jane Smith and Claudette Marie Green
The three defendants all pleaded guilty
A 42-year-old Leicester man has been jailed for 22 years and nine months after pleading guilty to the murder of his housemate at Leicester Crown Court.

Andrew Green, from Garth Avenue, had earlier admitted murdering Steven Gale, 28, at the home they shared with two women in Mowmacre Hill in October 2006.

Lisa Smith, 27, and Green's 31-year-old wife Claudette both admitted perverting the course of justice.

Post-mortem tests showed the victim was assaulted in the days before his death.

'Controlling influence'

Det Supt Stuart Prior said Mr Gale had been starved and beaten.

"We believe we identified a systematic abuse of Steven, which consisted of both assaults and also failing to properly feed him and allow him to have proper meals," the officer said.

"Andrew Green very much took the controlling influence in the household and dominated the people living in the property, and that included Steven."

Police said at the time of his death the victim weighed just four stone, despite his 5'11" height.

During the trial it become apparent that both the authorities and the victim's family had had not idea what he was going through.

Regular beatings

Mr Gale's parents, Maureen and Malcolm, said they were "deeply relieved and at peace" after they heard the three defendants had pleaded guilty to being involved in their son's death.

His mother, who last saw her son 20 months before he died, said: "I just feel that (Green) was a very nasty man, a very wicked man, to do that to any human being and he should never have done that to Steven."

Neighbours living below reported hearing beatings in the flat three or four times a week.

In May 2006 police were called to the flat when Mr Gale tried to escape by jumping from a third floor bathroom window after a row.

He needed to be with people who cared for him and fed him - instead he ended up with you
Judge Michael Pert QC

Green's defence barrister told the court police and social services had visited Steven Gale at his flat on a number of occasions leading up to his death but nobody intervened.

The judge, Michael Pert QC, said Andrew Green had extremely low intelligence, falling within the bottom three per cent of the population.

But he added: "It didn't take intelligence to know that what you did was wrong...

"(Steven Gale) was a vulnerable person who needed looking after. He needed to be with people who cared for him and fed him - instead he ended up with you.

"In fact you starved him, you beat him, you took his money and you controlled every aspect of his life."

Smith and Green were given supervision orders.

Maureen Gale has been talking about her son's death

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