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11 December 2013, 16:32 | Updated: 11 December 2013, 16:35
A 49-year-old-man from Portsmouth has today pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Crown Court to the murder of an 87-year-old man and has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 20 years’ imprisonment.
Following the plea, Lindsay Pennell, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex said:
“His own financial difficulties were Stephen Cowdrey’s motive to kill Stanley Carter, an 87-year-old vulnerable elderly person who had been living on his own in Wymering, (Portsmouth) for more than two decades.
"He was described by his son as someone who had become somewhat reclusive and whose health had deteriorated.
“The defendant was described by his friends as someone having permanent financial difficulties and who was drinking away his money.
"In the week before the murder, his partner of two years had been pressing the defendant about the money he owed to her and his lack of contribution to the household bills.
“Feeling this pressure on him he found in Mr Carter a solution to his problems. On Friday 13 September 2013, Stephen Cowdrey visited Mr Carter’s house in Greenwood Avenue and gained entry by pretending he was there to examine leaking pipes with the intention of stealing money from him.
“Stephen Cowdrey was later to tell police that he charged at his victim and knocked him to the ground in a rugby-type tackle when Mr Carter became suspicious about his reasons for being at the address.
"He then sat on Mr Carter’s chest and strangled him before stealing Mr Carter’s bank card.
“On Sunday 15 September, Stephen Cowdrey handed himself in to Portsmouth Central Police Station telling officers that he had killed Mr Carter.
“This is a tragic case where a vulnerable elderly person was violently killed in his own home solely as a result of the defendant’s desire to solve his own financial problems.
“We would like to thank Mr Carter’s family for supporting this prosecution and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”