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Pair face 32-year jail terms for 'chilling murder'

A judge today ruled that two "depraved" robbers convicted of the "chilling" murder of an office administrator who refused to reveal bank card details should each stay in jail for at least 32 years, police said.

Danny Howsego, 36, and Jon Williams, 22, were given mandatory life sentences after Chelmsford Crown Court heard they had tortured 55-year-old Graham Reeve in an attempt to discover his card number.

The two men, both from Colchester, were found guilty of murder on Wednesday - following a three-week trial - and sentencing was adjourned until today when a judge imposed minimum prison terms before they can be considered for parole.

Prosecutors said Howsego and Williams, both unemployed, kidnapped Mr Reeve and bundled him into his flat in Colchester in July 2009.

Jurors were told the men tortured Mr Reeve then strangled him with a curtain cord after he refused to reveal the code.

Prosecutors said there were 47 "injury sites" on Mr Reeve's body. He had a stab wound and injuries consistent with being punched and restrained.

Detectives today released images of a sword and knives the killers were thought to have used when torturing Mr Reeve, who lived near them.

The detective who led the investigation said the killers' "depravity knew no bounds".

"As Graham Reeve was returning to his flat... he was jumped... and held captive in his own home bound and gagged," said Detective Superintendent Tracy Hawkings.

"Anyone listening in court to the injuries inflicted upon him by his tormenters, who were high on drink and drugs, would be chilled by the level and duration of the violence he suffered."

Both men had denied murder but admitted robbing Mr Reeve of his bank card.