Lodger convicted of murdering clergyman who befriended him

Jason Bennetto Crime Correspondent
Thursday 26 December 2013 04:49

A teenage lodger was found guilty yesterday of murdering a retired vicar by drowning him in a bath.

Christopher Hunnisett, 18, who had been given lodgings by Ronald Glazebrook, 81, of St Leonards, East Sussex, was convicted of murdering the clergyman in April last year after he threatened to evict him.

Hunnisett is thought to have used an axe and a saw to cut up his victim after drowning him. Mr Glazebrook's severed head and limbs were found in a bag behind a leisure centre in Hastings and his torso off the A259 near Eastbourne.

Hunnisett and his friend Jason Groves, 18, from Hastings, East Sussex, had pleaded guilty at Lewes Crown Court to preventing Mr Glazebrook's lawful burial. Both were 17 at the time of the crime. They are to be sentenced today.After the verdict Mr Glazebrook's daughter, Christine Freeman, said: "I think [Hunnisett] he is a dangerous young man, very cold and calculating and I think people need to be protected from him."

The court was told that after retiring in the 1980s, Mr Glazebrook remained active in church circles in St Leonards, and led regular services in the town. He was an independent man who loved to spend time with his family.

Hunnisett had been allowed to lodge with the retired clergyman because he was having family problems. But he became abusive to Mr Glazebrook and had physically attacked him, said Philip Katz QC, for the prosecution.

He said Hunnisett had enjoyed living at the vicar's "elegant" flat rent free, and had also had the use of the vicar's car and yacht.

However, Mr Glazebrook wrote to Hunnisett's mother to say he could no longer cope with him living there, the court was told. The letter, which was sealed and unsent, also stated: "He tells me he believes force is the solution to 98 per cent of life's problems."

Hunnisett enlisted Groves to help him dispose of the body, the court heard. After police recovered the head and limbs, Groves confessed.