Addict Jailed Over Chatham Strangling

A drug addict has been imprisoned indefinitely for killing a young woman who was strangled with a belt in her own home.

Marcus Coates, 44, was jailed today (2 March 2012) for public protection and will serve seven-and-a-half years before being eligible for parole. He will be on licence for life.

Coates was found guilty last month of the manslaughter of 32-year-old Jennie Banner during a visit to her flat in Five Ways Court, High Street, Chatham in August last year.

Jennie BannerMaidstone Crown Court heard how after realising she was dead, Coates did not call for help from the emergency services. He instead took her lifeless body into the bedroom where he put her on the bed, covered her with a duvet and closed the curtains. Coates then took her phone and keys, locked the flat and did not admit to his crime until five days later.

Coates, of Ernest Road, Chatham was arrested on 19 August 2011 and charged with the murder of Jennie Banner. The pair were known to each other through friends and Coates claimed her death was an accident during an intimate act between the two.

Speaking at today's sentencing, Judge Philip Statman labelled Coates as 'dangerous' and said he had seen no remorse, only self pity. He added that he was satisfied Coates had been the one to out the belt around Jennie Banner's neck.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Clayden from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: "Now is a poignant time to reflect on the positive aspects of Jennie and her life. She had a large and loving family, a wide circle of good friends and was universally well thought of. Her future, but for the intervention of Marcus Coates, looked positive.

"Marcus Coates, who claimed to be her friend, went to Jennie?s flat and during his time there with her, she was strangled and died. He has a long history of violent offending and is a danger. It is only right that he spends time behind bars where he will have plenty of time to think about what he has done and cannot be a danger to anyone else."