Clacton: Man Jailed For Hotel Murder

14 December 2011, 15:50 | Updated: 14 December 2011, 16:09

A Clacton man has been found guilty of murdering his former partner a day after being released from prison and jailed for life.

44-year-old Lee Thompson, of Craigfield Avenue, strangled 51-year-old Janet Graney to death at the Esplanade Hotel in the town on Friday, April 29th, 2011.

He was jailed at Chelmsford Crown Court today (Wednesday, December 14th) for a minimum of 15 years, after a jury took just Essex Policea couple of hours to reach a guilty verdict.

Police discovered the mother of five's body at the hotel in Marine Parade East after Thompson called police in Suffolk to say he had just killed a woman.

Officers found Janet's face covered with a pillow and a post mortem examination found that she died as a result of compression of the neck.

Thompson had been staying at the hotel after being released from prison on April 28th, 2011, having served an 18 month sentence for theft and fraud.

Janet had been in an on off relationship with Thompson for seven years and had gone to visit him at the hotel when she was murdered.

Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Godfrey O'Toole, said: "It is clear that during his relationship with Janet, Lee Thompson lied to her, deceived her throughout and stole from her family.

"It is my belief that Janet found out about the lies he had told about death of his grandmother and, it was at that point, she knew that there were no depths to which he would not stoop to get what he wanted out of life.

"Janet decided enough was enough. She could no longer put up with him and chose to put her family first. For that Lee Thompson brutally murdered her.

"I would like to thank Janet's family for their support throughout this investigation and recognise the dignified manner in which they have conducted themselves throughout."

Janet's son Stephen Loader, 27, has paid tribute to his mum describing her as 'a friend to many'.

He said: "Janet was a fantastic daughter to our grandparents and friend to many. She was a wonderful mother to Andrew, Michael, Hayley, Rhianna and I and she leaves a void in our lives which simply can not be filled. Our lives are empty without her.

"She was a family orientated person who saw the good in everybody and Thompson has robbed us of a person whom we all looked up to and admired.

"She will forever live on in our hearts and minds."