Charlotte Collinge convicted of murdering husband in savage attack

 

A woman and two men she met in a pub have been found guilty of the murder of her husband, a "generous and caring" father who died after suffering more than 40 injuries in a savage attack.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that Charlotte Collinge, 45, took Stephen Shreeves, 40, and Kelvin Dale, 27, back to her home on the promise of sex, to kill her husband of 14 years, Clifford Collinge.

Mr Collinge was found dead on the kitchen floor of the couple's home in Mansfield, Notts, with 46 separate injuries.

Prosecutor Peter Joyce QC told the court that a clamp had been used to attack 61-year-old Mr Collinge, who was found lying dead, surrounded by a pool of blood, in the house on Sandy Lane on October 8 last year.

Following a four-week trial, a jury of five women and seven men found Collinge, Shreeves and Dale guilty of Mr Collinge's murder.

A fourth man, Robert Proud, 36, was cleared of the charge.

The packed public gallery in the courtroom erupted in tears and cries of "Oh God" as the jury returned its verdicts for each of the defendants.

Many people sobbed as Mr Joyce read a statement to the court from 16-year-old Cristal, the daughter of Mr Collinge and his wife.

Miss Collinge, a student, described her father as "generous and caring" and said they had done everything together, and her father had meant the world to her.

"He was my hero in every way," she said.

"He was everything to me.

"In one night I lost my father, my mother, my home, my pets and all my belongings.

"How do you tell someone how it feels to lose your whole world in one go?"

During the trial Mr Joyce told the court that the couple, who had been together for 17 years in total, had a rocky relationship peppered with break-ups and reconciliations, and divorce had been discussed.

Collinge was arrested at the scene after claiming she returned home to find her husband on the floor, jurors heard.

Giving evidence to the court, Shreeves said he had never met Collinge before the night of the murder and she had started flirting with him as soon as he arrived at the pub.

He said he was aware of Collinge's reputation and that she had the nickname Charlotte the harlot.

He said there were rumours that she took men back to her house and had sex with them while her husband watched.

During the night, Shreeves and Dale, who both denied Mr Collinge's murder, snorted cocaine in the toilets of the bar and drank a number of pints.

He said Mrs Collinge invited them back to her house for sex and told them no one was at home.

"She behaved very sexually towards everyone.

"Someone said if you buy her half a lager she'll do anything, so I bought her two, to laughter from the group we were with," he said.

On approaching her house, Collinge had said she hated her husband and had asked them if they knew anyone who could kill him, Shreeves said.

In police interview, he also told officers she had said: "I want him dead."

He said: "We just laughed but then the penny started to drop that she was a little bit more dangerous than we first thought.

"I thought it was a set-up, a f****** honeytrap or something."

Among his many injuries, wealthy Mr Collinge suffered a head injury, fractured ribs and a collapsed lung.

In her statement to the court, Cristal, who was called "little princess" by her father, paid tribute to Mr Collinge, who she said was a talented musician and inspired her to play the guitar.

She added: "It's been nine months now and I'm starting to realise I might not ever get over losing my dad.

"He really was my whole world."

All three defendants showed little emotion as the jury returned its guilty verdicts.

They were remained in custody as the case was adjourned for sentencing on July 31.

Temporary Superintendent Kate Meynell, who led the investigation, said: "Clifford Collinge suffered a violent death in his own home following a frenzied, yet entirely unprovoked attack.

"Shreeves and Dale, at the behest of Mr Collinge's wife, took it upon themselves to carry out this wicked and senseless act, inflicting devastating injuries upon their victim.

"This was not only an act of violence, but one of betrayal on the part of Charlotte Collinge, the result of which has torn her own family apart.

"Our sympathies are very much with the relatives and friends of Mr Collinge, who have lost a loved one and seen someone they once trusted convicted for their part in his murder."

PA

Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
Arts and Entertainment
books The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?