Current Affairs

Man guilty of ‘execution-style’ attack on gay couple

PinkNews Staff Writer March 29, 2010
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A Bradford man has been found guilty of murdering a gay man and attempting to kill his partner.

Ernest Wright, 68, killed Neville Corby, 42, and injured Craig Freear, 31, last March after a row over benefit payments.

Newcastle crown court heard that the argument began when Wright persuaded Freear’s disabled mother to put her benefit payments into his bank account and moved her to a new home.

The attack on the couple was described by police as an excution-style murder.

Wright took a sawn-off shotgun and a balaclava to the couple’s home early on March 30th 2009.

He killed father of two Corby with shots to the chest and head, while Freear was lucky to survive a wound to his chest.

He is said to have confronted Freear as he was setting off for work and followed him inside the house, where he fired shots at both men.

The couple escaped upstairs as Wright shot Corby in the chest, prosecutors said.

The court heard that Freear was shot in the shoulder before he escaped from a bathroom window.

Prosecutors said that Wright then blasted a hole through the bedroom door where Corby was hiding which hit him in the chest.

Corby was shot again in the shoulder before Wright allegedly clubbed him in the head with the shotgun and fired one final point-blank shot which severed the dead man’s jugular vein.

Wright then went on the run for 30 days and was arrested at a friend’s home.

The three men had argued after Wright persuaded Melissa Freear, who is physically disabled and suffers mental health problems, to pay her benefits into his bank account instead of her son’s.

The court also heard that Wright had already served one prison term for murder.

He was sentenced to a minimum of 13 years in prison for the 1971 murder of Trevor Hale in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, although he eventually served double the time for repeated escapes.

Wright will be sentenced at a later date.

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