A man who kidnapped and murdered Midland peace campaigner Hilda Murrell has been jailed for life.
Andrew George was told he must serve at least 15 years before he would be considered for release after a jury decided he killed the 71-year-old spinster almost 21 years ago.
Justice Richard Wakerley told George (37) at Stafford Crown Court: ?The court has had to look at over the past four weeks at the horror of those events so long ago - and horrible they were.?
George, of Meadow Farm Drive, Shrewsbury, pleaded not guilty to the murder and kidnap of Oxford educated Miss Murrell at her home in Sutton Road, Shrewsbury, in March 1984.
Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, said the killing and kidnap followed a burglary that went wrong. He said Miss Murrell was taken to a wood near Haughmond Hill, six miles from her home. She had three knife wounds to her stomach and one to her arm and was left alive and partially undressed. A pathologist said she would have taken five to ten hours to die. She was found four days later. George had left a palm print in Miss Murrell?s house and two years ago was charged after DNA identified him.
Mr Latham said she either walked into her home and disturbed George or he confronted her within moments of her returning home from visiting a friend.
He said George put Miss Murrell in her car and drove it to Haughmond Hill where he dumped her and abandoned the car. George blamed his brother, Steven and said the last he saw of Miss Murrell was when she was being dragged out of the house.
Anthony Barker QC, defending, said: ?His record contains nothing in the same league. Something must have happened to make him behave the way he did. He is to begin a sentence 20 years after the event.?
Because of Miss Murrell?s known stand as an anti-nuclear campaigner, rumour and gossip began to spread that her murder was carried out by MI5.
Mr Justice Wakerley said that speculation about MI5 ?has been dismissed by the prosecution and defence as absolute rubbish?.