Prisoner to hear result of 'body in suitcase' murder appeal

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The Independent Online

A homeless man jailed for life for strangling a 17-year-old girl and hiding her body in a suitcase will find out today if he has successfully appealed against his conviction.

Philip Bell, now 24, was told he would serve a minimum of 28 years behind bars after being found guilty last February of murdering Terry Edmonds in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

His conviction at Maidstone Crown Court followed two previous trials where juries were unable to reach a verdict on whether he was responsible for the killing.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, Mr Justice Simon and Mr Justice Royce, who heard submissions on his behalf at a previous hearing, will announce their decision today on Bell's claim that his conviction was "unsafe".

Jurors heard he sexually assaulted Terry and strangled her with her pink scarf during a "lost hour" on April 17 2006 before dumping her body behind a supermarket car park.

Her body was discovered 12 days later inside a suitcase belonging to Bell, wedged between two walls in a place where the former removal man admitted he used to store clothes.