Four guilty of torture killing: SIMON MIDGLEY

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The Independent Online
AFTER nine hours and 52 minutes of deliberation, a jury yesterday found two women, a man and a teenage boy guilty of imprisoning, torturing and eventually murdering 16-year-old Suzanne Capper by dousing her with petrol and setting her alight.

All six defendants had pleaded not guilty to murder.

Mr Justice Potts sentenced Jean Powell, 26, her former husband Glyn Powell, 29, and Bernadette McNeilly, 24, to life imprisonment and Anthony Dudson, 17, to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure. He said the crime was 'as appalling a murder as it is possible to imagine'.

During the 22-day trial the jury heard how last December Miss Capper, from Moston, on Manchester's rundown east side, was held captive at two nearby houses. After being tied to a bed, beaten and tortured for nearly a week, she was driven to scrubland, set on fire and left for dead.

All four were found guilty of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm and Glyn Powell was convicted on a false imprisonment charge. For those crimes the Powells and McNeilly were jailed for 20 years, to run concurrently with their life sentences. Dudson was sentenced to 15 years' detention for falsely imprisoning Capper and a concurrent 15 years for grievous bodily harm.

A fifth defendant, Jeffrey Leigh, 27, was acquitted of murder, but jailed for 12 years after admitting falsely imprisoning Miss Capper.

Jean Powell's brother, Clifford Pook, 18, was cleared of murder earlier in the trial at the judge's direction.

Pook, who admitted charges of false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, was sentenced to seven years and 15 years respectively, to be served concurrently. The court heard he pulled out two of Miss Capper's teeth with pliers.

Petty grudges, page 3