'Praying' murderer jailed for at least 13 years

A murderer whose prayers for forgiveness were overheard by police who bugged his car was jailed for life today.

George Maben's "confession" was played to an Old Bailey jury, which found him guilty yesterday of murdering his girlfriend's wealthy mother.

It was after detectives heard his emotional, whispered words "God, forgive me for what I have done" that they arrested Maben for strangling Maureen Cosgrove, 65.

Unemployed Maben, 45, of Rosehill, Surrey, denied murdering Mrs Cosgrove at her home in Southway, Carshalton Beeches, Surrey, on March 24.

Mrs Cosgrove was asphyxiated with a ligature in the kitchen of her £1 million, five-bedroom home after a visit to the dentist.

Maben was the partner of her daughter Lucy Rees, 34, who was expecting his baby.

Judge Jeremy Roberts ordered that Maben, whose family are from Dungannon, Northern Ireland, should serve a minimum of 13 years.

Judge Roberts told him he was reducing the term which might have been expected from a pre-meditated murder because it was out of character and because Maben had been under pressure.