Drug addict murdered gay lover in Spain

First published in News

A British man who was today found guilty of strangling and then bludgeoning his gay lover to death with an axe in Spain was jailed for a minimum of 14 years.

Heroin addict Stuart Martin murdered ex-seaman Francis Ottley following a row about drugs and money two years ago.

A jury of six men and five women at Maidstone Crown Court returned a unanimous guilty verdict after deliberating for seven hours.

Ottley, 54, was killed in the mobile home he was travelling around Spain in. The former resident of Dover, Kent, was fulfilling a long held ambition to travel around Europe after coming into nearly £100,000.

He had left the UK two years before his death following health problems.

Unemployed Martin enlisted the help of another man to dispose of his body on a rubbish dump in the La Linea area before returning to the UK. The body has never been found.

Martin, 29, of Bramble Way, Brighton, made a series of confessions to friends about the murder.

Mr Justice Michael Tugendhat sentenced him to life in prison. He told Martin the minimum sentence he would serve before being considered fit for parole was 14 years.

He said: "The circumstances of the murder of Francis Ottley are horrific. He was very vulnerable, travelling alone in Spain in the coach he had converted."

Martin had a troubled background and had grown up in children's and foster homes, the jury heard.

Mr Justice Tugendhat told him: "Your extremely disadvantaged childhood and upbringing are contributing factors to the way your personality developed."

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