Boss Who Buried Worker ALIVE In Shallow Grave Jailed 22 Years For Murder

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A garage boss who throttled one of his workers then left his to die in a shallow grave has been jailed for life.

Richard Spottiswood deliberately ‘choked the life from’ Darren Bonner then left him to die, hidden in woodland, at a Northumberland beauty spot.

Mr Bonner was found naked and fatally injured in the freshly-dug hole by a passer-by in July last year. He had been hidden behind a dry-stone wall near the village of Creswell.

The 24-year-old, from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, died in hospital 16 days later, without ever regaining consciousness. Spottiswood believed Mr Bonner had ‘double crossed’ him to a drugs rival. The 34-year-old, of Jarrow, South Tyneside, denied murder but was convicted by a jury after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

He was today given a life sentence and ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years before he can apply for parole.

Spottiswood’s then girlfriend Lucy Burn, 30, of South Shields, had originally been jointly charged with Mr Bonner’s murder, but was cleared over the killing.

She pleaded guilty to an offence of assisting an offender in relation to her having ‘taken various steps to tell lies in support of the defendant’, while knowing he had committed an offence of murder.

She will be sentenced by Judge Stephen Ashurst later today.

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