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Life sentence for 'cruel' killer

PUBLISHED: 15:10 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:46 03 July 2010

A “cruel” killer has been jailed for life after a court heard how he murdered his former Great Yarmouth girlfriend and left her body in the flat they shared for more than a week.

A “cruel” killer has been jailed for life after a court heard how he murdered his former Great Yarmouth girlfriend and left her body in the flat they shared for more than a week.

Paul Hubbard watched films and chose bets from newspapers just yards from where Claire Roberts's body lay covered in blankets.

He used Shake and Vac powder to disguise the smell of decaying flesh.

The body of the 28-year-old court worker, originally from Yarmouth, was found six days after she was killed on May 5 last year at their flat in John Stephenson Court, Norwich.

She died after being strangled for up to five minutes, experts said. There were 15 bruises to her neck and five elsewhere.

On Wednesday, a jury at Cambridge Crown Court found 39-year-old father-of-three Hubbard guilty of murder after two-and-a-half days of deliberation.

After the verdict, his victim's father, Dennis Roberts, read a statement on behalf of the family saying: “In a few years Hubbard will be free to carry on his life as though nothing has happened, but we will have to bear the loss of Claire for the rest of our lives.”

Officers only uncovered her body after climbing a ladder to get into her flat when her parents became concerned because they had not heard from her and she had not returned to work.

Prosecutor Karim Khalil QC said they had been confronted by a grim scene.

In the days that followed, Hubbard spent £900 of her money on drink, drugs and gambling.

Passing sentence, Judge Peter Jacobs said Hubbard must spend a minimum of 17 years behind bars.

He told him: “Concealing the body was callous. What was especially cruel was that you spoke to her mother and fobbed her off in the most cruel way;

a daughter who should have been at her parents' funeral, but now they will be at hers.”

Miss Roberts was a case management officer at Norwich Magistrates' Court.


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