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Man guilty of disposing of murder weapon

PUBLISHED: 11:07 21 October 2008 | UPDATED: 12:02 03 July 2010

A MAN who disposed of a walking stick used as a weapon to murder a Great Yarmouth grandfather was this week starting a nine-month jail sentence.

Alan Bowles, 64, was found dead in his favourite armchair at home after having the walking stick rammed down his throat by Paul Slack.

A MAN who disposed of a walking stick used as a weapon to murder a Great Yarmouth grandfather was this week starting a nine-month jail sentence.

Alan Bowles, 64, was found dead in his favourite armchair at home after having the walking stick rammed down his throat by Paul Slack.

Slack, 48, was convicted of Mr Bowles's murder following a trial at Norwich Crown Court earlier this year and is now serving a life sentence under which he must serve a minimum of 16 years.

David Comer, 40, was jointly accused of Mr Bowles's murder but was acquitted by the jury. But he admitted perverting the course of justice by disposing of the murder weapon by throwing it into the river at Yarmouth.

A third defendant Kathleen Johnson, 58, of no fixed address, was jailed for three years for manslaughter after being found to have punched and kicked Mr Bowles but had not foreseen the violence would escalate to murder.

On Monday Comer, of Broad Road, Yarmouth, appeared for sentence for his part in the tragedy and was given a nine-month sentence for perverting the course of justice.

Judge Peter Jacobs told him that anyone covering up an offence of this gravity would have to get immediate custody.

He said Slack attacked Mr Bowles and rammed the walking stick down his throat, adding: “It was done in your presence. You saw it and saw the murder weapon.”

He said that afterwards Comer left the flat but later met up with Slack and disposed of the walking stick by throwing it away so it would never be found. “You to a limited extend were pressurised by Slack.”

Judge Jacobs added that Comer did not want Slack to be discovered as the murderer and said there had also been a element of self-motivation behind his actions. However, he accepted that Comer had had the worry of a murder charge hanging over him until he was cleared by the jury.

Matthew McNiff, mitigating, said Comer disposed of the walking stick at the request of Slack, adding: “He had to because of the nature of the man and what he was capable of. He secured no benefit for himself.”

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