A care worker, her son, and his friend have been found guilty of killing a defenceless disabled man in order to benefit from his will.
Thelma Purchase, her son Lance Rudge, and Shane Edge were all found guilty of murdering 61-year-old Greg Baker following a month-long trial at Stafford Crown Court.
A jury which deliberated for more than 12 hours also convicted Purchase (43), of soliciting to murder and attempting to pervert the course of justice after hearing how she hoped to inherit a share of Mr Baker’s cottage in the village of Alton, Staffordshire.
The victim, who was left crippled by childhood polio and suffered from muscular dystrophy, was found suffocated at his home by a carer paying a routine visit on June 16 last year.
Edge, of Cliveden Place, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, and his co-defendants, both of Sherwood Road, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, will be sentenced on a later date.
Edge and Rudge, both 20, showed no emotion as they were convicted of murder, while Purchase was not at the court after falling ill.
All three defendants now face a mandatory life sentence for killing Mr Baker, who gave Purchase £1,500 to buy the Citroen Saxo which she used to drive Edge to Alton.
During the investigation, police discovered that Purchase had tried, and failed, to recruit someone to kill her ex-partner Kevin Amos, so she would benefit financially.
Purchase was convicted of soliciting to murder Mr Amos and also of perverting the course of justice, after she tried to stop a witness giving evidence.
It is believed Edge used a pillow to smother Mr Baker in his bedroom after entering his home, which was often left unlocked, under the cover of darkness.
The trial was told that Purchase had promised to pay her son and his friend £8,000 each if they helped her to carry out the killing.
All three defendants denied any part in the murder despite mobile phone evidence linking Purchase to the Alton area and testimony that the male defendants had talked about suffocating a man to trigger a payment from a will.
The trial heard that Purchase, a mother-of-three, stood to inherit a substantial share of Mr Baker’s estate, which is thought to have been worth around £74,000.
In a police interview in the days following the death, she told officers Mr Baker was a “lonely man” she viewed as a father figure. She also said that she worked for the social services as a care assistant, but had been off sick in recent months.
Speaking after the verdict, Mr Baker’s brother, Tom Baker, said: “Greg was a gentleman, well-read, articulate and intelligent. He was truly a gentleman.”