Essex

Douglas Binet jailed for murdering and dismembering man

Anthony Whitefield
Image caption Anthony Whitefield's arms were found in a lake in Essex

A drug dealer has been jailed for life for murdering a father whose severed arms were found in a lake in Essex.

Douglas Binet, 54, appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, was told he would serve at least 20 years for murdering Anthony Whitefield, 47.

Mr Whitefield's severed arms were found in a lake in Buckhurst Hill.

His torso and legs were discovered by police in Binet's rear garden in Hanson Drive, Loughton, but his head has never been found.

Mr Whitefield, a father of five, was reported missing by his daughter on 10 February, 2011.

His right arm was found by a fisherman in the lake on 31 March, while his left arm was discovered by police divers on 2 April.

Essex Police said Binet had the opportunity before sentencing to reveal the whereabouts of Mr Whitefield's head, but has declined to do so.

'Dumped like rubbish'

Det Ch Insp Lucy Robinson, of Essex Police, said after Binet's conviction: "Tony Whitefield was a loving family man and devoted father who was killed and then horrifically dismembered by Douglas Binet.

"Mr Binet has failed to take responsibility for this despicable crime and has continued his deceit throughout this investigation.

Image caption Douglas Binet said the body parts were delivered to his house after he was threatened

"Having brutally cut Tony into pieces, he dumped parts of his body like rubbish.

"Sadly for Tony's family, his head has never been recovered, preventing them from having a proper funeral and fully understanding how Tony died."

Binet had denied murder throughout his trial, claiming Mr Whitefield's torso and legs were delivered to his back garden after he was threatened at gunpoint.

Giving evidence, Binet said he had been taking cocaine since 2002 and had developed "quite a large habit".

He began selling the drug to fund his own addiction and this led to him mixing with a network of drug users and dealers, the jury heard.

Mr Whitefield was also involved in drug dealing and had sold him cocaine since 2010, Binet added.

Binet claimed Mr Whitefield's body was delivered after a man had told him he would receive a package and he should keep his mouth shut or something terrible would happen to members of his family.

He did not contact police for fear of reprisals, he said.

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