Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Monday, 28 April 2008 12:37 UK

'Devious' killer's life sentence


Det Sgt Paul Giess comments on the Beverley Parkhouse murder case

A lorry driver convicted of murdering his secret lover and then setting fire to a bedroom to try to cover up the crime has been jailed for life.

Royston Moore, 52, of Nantymoel, Bridgend, will serve at least 20 years for killing Beverley Parkhouse, 45.

Mrs Parkhouse died at her father's home in Ogmore Vale in September 2006.

Sentencing Moore, the judge at Cardiff Crown Court described him as a "devious, manipulative and thoroughly brutal man".

Mr Justice Lloyd Jones recommended that Moore should serve at least 20 years in jail before being eligible for parole.

"Her premature and pointless death will leave a permanent shadow on the lives of her family and friends," he told Moore.

"I have read the witness impact statements and the effects on this family have been devastating. You bear responsibility for that".

Royston Moore
Royston Moore had a previous conviction for harassing a woman

Mr Justice Lloyd Jones said the death should "haunt and shame" Moore for the rest of his life.

He said Moore had killed in a "cold and efficient way", adding that starting the fire knowing Mrs Parkhouse's father was asleep in the house was a "grave, aggravating factor"

"It shows what a truly evil man you are. No thanks to you, the fire did not take hold," he said.

The court heard witness statements from Mrs Parkhouse's family and friends during the sentencing.

Her husband, Andre Parkhouse said his wife's affair with Moore in no way changed his feelings for his wife.

He added: "Everybody makes mistakes. Beverley did not deserve to die for her mistakes. I feel as if I have lost my way in life."

Mrs Parkhouse's daughter Sarah said her mother did not get to experience the joys of being a grandmother.

Mr Palmer described his daughter as his "rock" and said he will never get over her death.

House in Ogmore Vale, where Beverley Parkhouse died
Beverley Parkhouse was found dead at her father's home

He added: "Finding out that Moore had started a fire in my home was a great shock. It would have killed me if it had taken hold."

He said these thoughts terrified him and prevented him from sleeping.

Defending, Peter Rouch QC said in mitigation Moore had not planned to kill Mrs Parkhouse.

Moore had denied killing the mother-of-one following a night out at the Nantymoel Social Club, where each of them had gone separately with friends.

The court heard they met secretly at times at the home of Kenneth Palmer, Mrs Parkhouse's father, where she sometimes stayed following the death of her mother six months previously, and where they went after leaving the club.

Mrs Parkhouse had been involved in the relationship for about a year without her husband or daughter knowing, the prosecution said.

Moore had confessed to two fellow inmates that he throttled Mrs Parkhouse but his defence counsel claimed the confessions were invented by the men in order to claim a reward.

Mrs Parkhouse was found dead in bed. Initially it was believed she had died from inhaling fumes, but examinations later revealed pressure had been placed on her neck and face, and the fire had extinguished itself.

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