Man who killed gay lover with a fire extinguisher jailed for life

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A man who murdered his gay lover by beating him to death with a fire extinguisher has been told he can expect to serve 25 years in jail.

Glenn Rycroft, 33, was found guilty of the killing yesterday at the Old Bailey.

This morning, Judge Timothy Pontius said Rycroft, a convicted conman, had attempted to “fool” the jury into believing he was innocent.

He beat his victim, Gareth MacDonald, 30, to death after MacDonald became suspicious that his lover was stealing money from him.

MacDonald, a father of three, had left his wife for the man after meeting him on the internet.

Rycroft, of Flintshire, killed MacDonald on September 14th 2007. The pair were staying in a Travelodge at Heston services after getting lost while travelling to see Rycroft’s uncle and aunt.

MacDonald was found face down on the bed the following morning, wearing only his underwear. He had sustained two large cuts to the back of his head, caused by the fire extinguisher.

Rycroft tried to cover up the crime by leaving the hotel and returning to “discover” the body. He claimed a rent boy had killed MacDonald.

Rycroft, a former British Airways steward, was previously jailed for four years after he conned friends and relatives out of more than £200,000 with an investment scam. He had also pretended to have cancer in order to raise money.

Judge Pontius told Rycroft: “You are not only a thoroughly dishonest man but also a thoroughly unscrupulous and utterly cold-hearted one. You lived, and have for many years lived, in a fantasy world of your own warped imaginings.”

“The facts of this case demonstrated clearly not a sudden unpremeditated attack arising out of a momentary loss of temper but a considered, planned determination to kill Gareth MacDonald.

“The use of that 8kg fire extinguisher to strike him with merciless brutality at least twice to the head, the second blow following the first after a period of three minutes or more, provides the clearest evidence there could be of an intention not merely to cause serious injury but specifically to kill.”