A village ‘oddball’ murdered his neighbour when she spurned his advances, a court heard today.
Brian Coote, 65, became infatuated with his next-door neighbour Christine Ford, 71, and attempted to buy her gifts and kiss her at a village fete.
But when she turned him down, Coote stabbed and bludgeoned the grandmother-of-four to death with a hammer at his home in Flamstead, Hertfordshire.
Ms Ford, a former hairdresser, was found dead at Cootes’ almshouse on July 27 last year.
Coote fled the scene and spent two days hiding in his car and at his allotment until he was found and arrested by police. He pleaded guilty to murder today. Prosecutor Mary Prior told Luton Crown Court that Coote, a gardener and car mechanic, had lived in Flamstead all his life with his parents, until their deaths.
He had been unable to keep up the mortgage repayments on the family home and was living in his car before he was offered one of the almshouses built in the 1600s for local people who fell on hard times.
Mrs Ford had moved to Flamstead from the Isle of Wight in 2014 to be closer to her son Mark, his wife and their two young children, who lived there.She helped care for her 95-year-old parents and cooked meals for Coote, the court heard.But the killer wrote several letters of complaint to the trust which owned their properties, about Mrs Ford putting her bins out and making any noise.The prosecutor added: ‘Very tiny things annoyed him a great deal.’But […]