Ex-nurse loses appeal hearing

Court news.
Court news.

A former nurse who ordered the barbaric murder of a helpless drifter from Hastings has lost her bid to challenge her conviction at the Court of Appeal.

Lauren Rebecca Bishop, of Eastbourne Road, Seaford, set her two accomplices on Lea Williams, 45, after a row broke out near Hove seafront in November 2012.

Mr Williams, originally from Hastings, was a heavy drinker who had been living in an archway in Hove. After he fell out with Bishop, a mum-of-four, she goaded Michael Clark, 52, and Edward Phillips, 50, to attack Mr Williams, who was battered to death with an iron bar in his makeshift home.

Witnesses told how Bishop earlier hurled a torrent of abuse at Mr Williams, telling him: “it’s not over - I’m going to have you”.

Mr Williams later retreated to the shelter of his “alcove” home under the arches and took to his bed unaware that Clark and Phllips were about to hunt him down. Another witness described seeing Phillips repeatedly “chopping” at Mr Williams with an iron bar in a sickening attack that lasted around five minutes. Blood was found splattered throughout the alcove and surrounding area, but Mr Williams’ attackers were later captured on CCTV laughing and joking as they went to buy lager. Clark, of Trafalgar Street, Brighton, and Phillips, of no known address, were each jailed for life after they were found guilty of Mr Williams’ murder. Bishop was handed a 15-year term after a Lewes Crown Court jury convicted her of conspiracy to murder in November last year. Her lawyers challenged the “safety” of her conviction, but permission to appeal was refused by Mr Justice Foskett. The judge, sitting with Lady Justice Rafferty and Judge Jeremy Carey on Tuesday (December 2) rejected claims that the trial judge should have ruled that Bishop had “no case to answer”.

He pointed to strands of evidence linking her to the crime including evidence from witnesses that she “had threatened to have Williams done”.