Man found guilty of murdering Long Melford woman

Latest breaking news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest breaking news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A man is facing the prospect of a life sentence after being convicted of the murder of a mother-of-five from Long Melford.

Andrew Ratcliffe, 56, of Petch Close, Bury St Edmunds, had denied killing Mary Roberts but was found guilty today (Tuesday) by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court.

Judge John Devaux told Ratcliffe that he would be brought back to court tomorrow (Wednesday) morning to be sentenced.

The body of Mrs Roberts, 50, formerly of Hill Close, was found behind St Edmunds Tavern in

Risbygate Street on the morning of March 27. She had been strangled.

Ratcliffe was arrested later the same day and police found a pair of Mrs Roberts’ knickers and a ring she always wore in his pocket.

The prosecution alleged that Ratcliffe was “sexually obsessed” with Mrs Roberts and while she was staying at the same flat had repeatedly bought her alcohol and chocolates.

During the trial the jury heard that forensic tests revealed Ratcliffe’s DNA on Mrs Roberts body and clothes, and her DNA on his fingertips.

Giving evidence, Ratcliffe denied being sexually interested in Mrs Roberts, although he said they had kissed on two occasions and he liked her.

He claimed that the last time he saw Mrs Roberts was when she walked away from St Edmunds Tavern.