Killer wins payout for theft of his garden gnomes

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The Independent Online

A gay serial killer who stabbed to death four men "for fun" won £13,000 compensation yesterday from neighbours who took furniture and other items, including garden gnomes, cans of food, wellington boots and cutlery, from his home.

Peter Moore, 60, a former cinema owner who is serving a life sentence for the 1995 murders, won his claim against a couple who stripped his home in Kinmel Bay, Clwyd, in 1996 after he was arrested.

District Judge Charles Newman, sitting in the civil hearing at Leeds Crown Court, ordered Les Bradshaw and Pauline Prydderch, of Rhyl, North Wales, to pay Moore £12,842 in damages.

Moore, who was declared bankrupt while on remand, smiled as the judge made his decision and simply said: "Thank you."

Flanked in the dock by five prison officers, Moore claimed he had agreed with the couple they could live in the Moore family home on a caretaker basis and sell some of his items.

But he explained that the whole of the contents had been removed from both his home and the adjoining family business premises only two months after his arrest for murder.

Moore, dubbed "The Man in Black" during his murder trial because he always wore a black shirt and tie, accepted that some of the items had been sold at auction but below the asking price he had set.

The killer also claimed his four-bedroom home and two-storey family business premises had been stripped of oak flooring valued at £38,000. But Judge Newman dismissed that part of his case.

Moore told the court that after being arrested on "serious matters" in December 1995, his house remained empty.

Moore, who is now in Wakefield prison, added: "In January 1996 I gave them the keys to the premises and they moved in. I agreed they could sell a quantity of my belongings.

"They were close friends of mine and I did trust them. I was told a short time after that everything had gone from the premises."

Among the 14-page list of belongings that Moore claimed had been taken were antique dressers, a rocking chair, nutcrackers, canned food, cutlery, a crystal bowl, vacuum cleaners, travel rugs, a deep-freeze, sewing tables and 900 cinema posters from his time as an owner of four cinemas in North Wales.