Man sentenced to life for murder of TV actor Gary Suller
Tuesday 03 July 2012
A jealous rival who beat a TV actor to death in a sickening attack over a prostitute they both loved was jailed for life for murder today and ordered to serve a minimum 30 years.
Barry Bowyer, 38, was the violent side of a bitter love triangle which eventually claimed the life of Gary Suller.
The 45-year-old actor was found trussed up at his home in Cwmbran, south Wales, last September after a series of harrowing attacks.
The actor, who played bit parts in TV series Doctor Who and Casualty, suffered the sort of injuries more normally seen on car crash victims.
His jealous love rival Barry Bowyer, 38, was found guilty of the murder today at Cardiff Crown Court.
The attack was triggered by jealous love for drug addicted callgirl Katie Gilmore, who played both men off against each other.
Judge John Curran hit out at Bowyer today for failing to show even "a flicker of remorse" for the murder of Mr Suller.
He described how Bowyer targeted his victim with threats and how the callgirl regarded him as a "Joe".
"That is someone who would, when asked, provide her with accommodation and money, or both," the judge said.
"All he wanted was for her to stop her drug abuse and life of prostitution that she was involved in. You resented that," the judge said.
He said Bowyer repeatedly threatened Mr Suller, to the point where he drove him away from home.
"He was very frightened of you, and with good reason, so frightened that he did not stay in his own home, but stayed with friends."
Bowyer was in the middle of burgling the father-of-two's home at a time when he believed the actor was away.
"Gary Suller had the tragic misfortune of returning home while you were burgling his house, and you set upon him for no reason at all," the judge said today.
The judge described Mr Suller's harrowing discovery of the man he feared most in the world as "every home-owner's nightmare."
Bowyer then launched into his victim in what has previously been described as "a prolonged, unrelenting and brutal attack."
"He was unconscious at the end of the prolonged beating and that is how you left him," the judge said.
He added that forensic examination of his body revealed that Mr Suller was beaten again after the first brutal attack.
The victim's blood had time to dry as Bowyer ransacked his home, stealing DVDs and an array of electrical equipment, before launching another attack.
By then Mr Suller was tied up with an electrical flex and defenceless against the torrent of kicks and blows he suffered.
Before leaving in the victim's own car Bowyer pulled the still unconscious body away from the front door, ensuring it was not easily discovered.
The judge said that showed that Bowyer was "ruthlessly prepared to buy yourself as much time to get away as possible."
He added: "I reject the suggestion, therefore, that you ever intended to return and untie him."
Bowyer, who was on bail for another matter, then drove off in his victim's car to report to a police station as required.
"You then had the gall to drive off to the police station in his car and were then obliged to sign on as a condition of bail," Judge Curran said.
Afterwards Bowyer sold the goods stolen from his victim's home at a fraction of their true value, buying heroin with the proceeds.
As the judge passed sentence today a member of Mr Suller's family shouted "animal" as he was taken away.
Several friends in court to support Bowyer swore angrily and stormed out of court as the sentence was passed.
The judge said that the 30 year minimum term would be minus the 297 days Bowyer had already served on remand.
After the verdict today Wendy Morgan, the mother of Mr Suller, issued a statement welcoming the outcome of the trial.
"My family and I are proud of the person Gary was. He was kind and trusting if somewhat naove," she said.
"He saw the good in everyone and would go out of his way to help anyone.
"The past months have been very emotional for us all. In particular the past two weeks when we have had to sit in court and hear Gary's character maligned.
"We have now seen justice done and are grateful to all those who have been interested in this case.
"We now want to move on with our lives but Gary will be in our hearts forever."
John Williams, senior crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wales, said after the verdict was returned: "Barry Bowyer took Gary Suller's life in an attack that was brutally violent and utterly senseless.
"Whilst Bowyer admitted he was responsible for Gary's death, he has never acknowledged that this was a callous and premeditated act on his part.
"I would like to pay tribute to Gwent Police's investigative team, our in-house prosecution team and prosecuting counsel who worked together to build and present a robust case against Barry Bowyer. I would also like to thank all those who have supported the prosecution as witnesses during the trial.
"This has been, and continues to be, an extremely difficult time for the family and friends of Gary Suller and our thoughts are with them."
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