Sussex

Lea Williams murder: Life for Hove homeless man's killers

Three found guilty over the murder of Lea Williams
Image caption Michael Clark and Edward Philips were convicted of murder and Lauren Bishop of conspiracy to murder

Two men who murdered a homeless man where he slept have been jailed for life.

Michael Clark, 51, and Edward Philips, 49, must serve a minimum of 16 years in jail for the murder of 45-year-old Lea Williams, the judge ruled.

Mr Williams was battered to death near the pitch-and-putt at Western Esplanade on Hove seafront in February.

Lauren Bishop, 36, was found guilty of conspiracy to murder and jailed for 15 years at Lewes Crown Court.

During the trial, the jury was told Mr Williams was struck 20 to 30 times, possibly with the metal bar he kept for protection.

Dianne Chan, prosecuting, said Clark and Phillips had committed the murder "at the behest or request" of Bishop after a row.

Bishop confronted Mr Williams after he swore at another person while drinking with a number of homeless friends - including Clark and Phillips - near Portland Road, Hove, in February, the court had been told.

Mr Williams's body was found three days later by volunteers who had brought him food.

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