Convicted killer gets life for shooting retired officer


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The Independent Online

A convicted murderer was handed a second life sentence today for gunning down a retired army officer in cold blood.

Christopher Docherty-Puncheon, 33, shot Lt-Col Robert “Riley” Workman, 83, on his doorstep in Furneux Pelham, Hertfordshire, in an “execution-style” killing in 2004.

Docherty-Puncheon, from nearby Stocking Pelham, denied murdering Colonel Workman, his former employer, but jurors at St Albans Crown Court found him guilty following a four-week trial.

The defendant remained expressionless as the verdict was read out after the jury of six men and six women had deliberated for 17 hours.

Docherty-Puncheon confessed to killing Colonel Workman to two cellmates while he was on remand over a separate murder charge, describing himself to one of them as a “modern-day hitman” who killed people for money.

He had worked as a pest controller for Colonel Workman, known by many as “the Colonel”, and the court heard the pair also had a sexual relationship.

Judge John Saunders sentenced Docherty-Puncheon to life imprisonment, with a minimum jail term of 32 years before he can be considered for bail. “I cannot say for certain what the reason for the attack was. Several have been suggested but none have been proved to my satisfaction,” he said.

Docherty-Puncheon is already serving a life sentence for the murder of Fred Moss, 21, in 2004.