[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 15:34 GMT
Life term for man who shot lover
Julie Turner
Julie Turner was shot dead after a trip to Harvey Nichols
A businessman who lavished gifts of 200,000 on his girlfriend has been found guilty of murdering her following a shopping trip to Harvey Nichols.

Howard Simmerson, 43, of Cresswell, Derbys, had denied killing Julie Turner, as they returned from Leeds.

He took her body back to his home in Cresswell in June and put it in an oil drum, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

Mr Justice Pitchers sentenced him to life in prison and said he should serve at least 25 years.

Your conduct after you killed her showed you to be almost unimaginably callous and inhumane.
Mr Justice Pitchers

Police said Simmerson spent up to 200,000 on Miss Turner, 40, during their affair, while she was carrying on living with her partner Darran Akers and their two children.

In June he bought a handgun which he used to shoot her after he had spent 1,400 on handbags for her on the trip to the upmarket department store, it was alleged.

No emotion

Within 12 hours of the shooting he drove to a farm to try to dispose of Miss Turner's body and had sex with another young woman while the barrel was still on the back of his truck, the jury was told.

He told the court Miss Turner pulled out his gun from the glove compartment and accidentally shot herself during a row.

The judge said he was convinced the businessman had planned Miss Turner's murder and had bought the gun for that purpose.

Simmerson stood in the dock wearing a navy blue suit over a blue shirt and tie and showed no emotion as he was both convicted and sentenced.

In the packed public gallery, Mr Akers burst into tears when the guilty verdict was brought in.

The judge told Simmerson: "Your conduct after you killed her showed you to be almost unimaginably callous and inhumane.

"To take the lifeless body of a woman you professed to love and to fold it in half and push it into a barrel and later unseal it simply so that you could rummage about and find two mobile phones is cold-hearted beyond belief."

The judge said Mr Akers and his family would have to live with what Simmerson had done for the rest of their lives.

He said: "The punishment I must impose on you is a long one but it will end, but for them the punishment never will."

Gun 'went off during row in car'
04 Nov 05 |  South Yorkshire
Murder probe police discover body
21 Jul 05 |  South Yorkshire
Murder police in car photo appeal
15 Jun 05 |  South Yorkshire
Man charged with woman's murder
13 Jun 05 |  South Yorkshire

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


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific