Coin collection murderer jailed
26 March 2019, 12:36 | Updated: 26 March 2019, 12:39
A coin collector who stabbed a fellow enthusiast to death in Colchester and then stole his collection has been jailed for at least 30 years.
Danny Bostock, 33, entered Gordon McGhee's flat as a burglar and knifed him at least 14 times when he awoke, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Judge David Goodin jailed Bostock for life for the "savage" murder, adding that he must serve 30 years in prison before he can be considered for release.
Bostock was "cool-headed enough" after the murder to search Mr McGhee's flat for the coin collection, which included limited edition Beatrix Potter 50p pieces, Judge Goodin said.
Bostock then tried to cause a gas explosion to destroy evidence.
A jury found Bostock guilty of murder and of attempted arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.
The missing items have not been recovered.
Judge Goodin said witnesses described Mr McGhee as a "generous man" and that Bostock knew of this generosity as Mr McGhee had showed him his personal coin collection.
Addressing Bostock, Judge Goodin said: "He gave you one, two or three of them, duplicate coins of which he had more than one, in recognition of your own interest in that area so you could have it for your own collection.
"When he did that, sparking your immediate and keen interest, he sowed the seeds of his own destruction at your hands.
"You decided you could have that collection then in the early hours ... you went after it."
Mr McGhee, 52, was found dead in the bedroom of his flat on August 22 last year.
The gas cooker had been left on and a half-burnt dishcloth was left in the hallway following what the judge described as a "calculated attempt to destroy the crime scene".
Judge Goodin said Bostock placed the lives of neighbours "at grave risk" by trying to blow up the flat.
He added: "This was a murder done for gain."
Police said DNA on the dishcloth matched Bostock's, and that trainer prints at the scene were linked to him.
His DNA was also found on a ripped package used to store Mr McGhee's collectable coins, a large quantity of which were missing.
Bostock, of Berberis Walk, Colchester, had convictions for 44 previous offences including rape.
In a victim impact statement, Toni Smith, whom Mr McGhee regarded as his daughter, said she was "paralysed by shock" and "heartbroken" when she was told of his death.
Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said the theft of the coins "added to (the) heartbreak" for Ms Smith and her mother as the coins were "precious heirlooms to them that cannot be replaced and (Ms Smith's mother) knew Gordon had talked about passing that collection on to Toni".
Alison Levitt QC, mitigating, said the murder was not pre-meditated but happened "when something went terribly wrong during the course of this burglary".
She added that Bostock did not go to the flat armed with a knife.