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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
Hillside murderers get life terms
Lee and Brett Davies
Lee and Brett Davies planned the murder of Mr Horrell
Two men have been jailed for life for strangling and battering a man to death after he was said to have implicated one of them in a shop burglary.

Barrie-John Horrell, 31, from Pontlottyn in the Rhymney Valley, was taken to a remote hillside where he was killed in July 2006.

His body was then set on fire by cousins Lee Davies, 28, from Nantyglo and Brett Davies, 23, from Pontlottyn.

Both were jailed at Cardiff Crown Court after admitting murder.

The court heard how Mr Horrell had "grassed" on Lee Davies for a shop burglary four years earlier.

Prosecutor Robin Spencer QC said: "It clearly festered in the mind of Lee Davies who told friends 'I'm going to have Barrie'".

Mr Spencer said: "Lee Davies had an old score to settle.

"Barrie Horrell had grassed on him and told police he had taken part in a shop burglary.

"Brett Davies lured him to a flat where he was beaten up. He was seen with a pillowcase over his head being led into a van."

The court heard Brett Davies also wanted revenge on Mr Horrell after allegedly telling his wife he had been unfaithful.

The pair also wrongly believed Mr Horrell was a paedophile.

Mr Spencer said the men had planned the murder and taken spare clothes to change into to avoid forensic tests.

Barrie-John Horrell
Mr Horrell's body was found under bracken on a mountainside

The court heard how the men took Mr Horrell, who was disabled, to a hillside where they killed him.

He had been strangled, hit with a house brick, kicked and stamped on.

His body was then set on fire and hidden in bracken.

Mr Spencer said it was "gratuitous violence".

The court heard how Mr Horrell, described as "timid and bespectacled", had regarded his two killers as friends.

His badly decomposed body was found hidden in bracken just off the New Tredegar to Pontlottyn Road near Tirphil in July last year -11 days after he went missing.

Police arrested the two men who originally denied any involvement in the killing.

But the court heard Lee Davies' mother, Christine Blackman, told police she had seen Mr Horrell being taken from his son's flat bleeding heavily on the day he went missing.

Judge Christopher Pitchford ordered the pair to serve life sentences with Lee Davies given a minimum tariff of 18-and- a-half years before he can apply for parole and Brett Davies a minimum of 17 years.

"There are three aggravating features in the offence - the planning, the mental and physical suffering of Mr Horrell and the attempted concealing of his body," said the judge.

"You subjected a vulnerable man to a terrible death."

Mr Horrell's mother Lilian gave a witness impact statement to the court saying her family "would never get over the death of her defenceless and unassuming young son".

She said: "We will never understand the considerable violence shown to him by his supposed friends. We do not believe these people will ever be rehabilitated."

Mrs Horrell said the Davies cousins had denied her "a chance to say goodbye to her son because his body was burnt and decomposed when it was found".




SEE ALSO
Guilty plea for mountain murderer
24 Apr 07 |  South East Wales
Police reappeal over wood murder
09 Aug 06 |  South East Wales
Two men charged over wood murder
27 Jul 06 |  South East Wales

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